The 2019-20 Graves County girls' basketball season gets underway next week as the Lady Eagles take on the Massac County Lady Patriots twice in three days, starting with a season opener on Tuesday night at the Eagles' Nest and a second game set for 5:30 p.m. at the Marshall County Hoopfest.
This year, the Lady Eagles will enter the season with a bit of adversity after losing their former head coach Aaron Beth to a coaching job at Marshall County, as well as last years' leading scorer and rebounder, Sophie Galloway, to a promising track and field career.
All of this aside, Graves County is still considered to be one of the top programs in the First Region and the front runner in the Third District.
Newly hired Lady Eagle head coach Brandon Fisher says he and his team are excited for the chance to get back on the court and play in front of the Graves County faithfuls.
"We're just ready for the chance to play," Fisher said. "I don't think this team got a lot of summer ball due to the transition in coaching so hopefully that will make us more hungry to play and energized at the start of the season."
Fisher is the former girls' basketball head coach at Webster County where he was at the helm for three seasons.
During his time at Webster County, Fisher led his team to three consecutive sixth district championships and one Second Region championship.
Heading into the 202019-20 campaign, Fisher and his team will have their work cut out for them as they prepare to replace Galloway's team-leading 12.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.
While there is worry about replacing Galloway, the Lady Eagles do return strong pieces from their 25-7 team from a season ago.
Graves County's second leading scorer Raychel Mathis returns for her senior year alongside Bailey Wilson and Callie Jackson who were each strong contributors to the Lady Eagles' recent success.
Fisher believes his team's biggest improvement will be playing big in the paint.
"Anytime you lose a big time athlete and player like Galloway it's going to hurt you. Where I think it's felt the most is rebounding the blocking shots. Now we're going to have to do it as a committee, maybe take charges instead of blocking shots and we'll have to get in position and box out."
While the Lady Eagles may run a smaller line up than in years past, Fisher says speed and pace of play will hopefully make up for this in the long run.
"My style may be a little different than what they're used to," Fisher said. "We'll play more man-to-man and will look to play a little faster. There's a lot of areas to improve on but the biggest thing will be some changes to our strength and conditioning. One thing we're trying to do now is lift and condition so that we can wear down our opponents and play at the pace we'd like."
Graves County will be tasked with yet another tough schedule to begin the season, taking on Massac County, Murray, University Heights Academy and Calloway County all before Christmas break.
Although matchups with First Region opponents like Marshall County and McCracken County always entice players and fans, Fisher says his team will be taking the season one game at a time as they look to improve in all areas of their game.
"I don't know if there's one game that's more important than the other," Fisher said. "I think throughout the course of the year you want to prepare for them all and try to get better each and every game and hopefully be playing your best basketball at tournament time."
Girls Basketball Roster
Morgan Alexander Fr.
Ellie Carter So.
Chloe Dawson Sr.
Hannah Glisson 7th
Autumn Harris So.
Lillian Hayden Fr.
Callie Jackson Sr.
Nealey Jackson So.
Onyx Mangrum Fr.
Raychel Mathis Sr.
Avery Myatt Jr.
Carley Riley Fr.
Avery Thompson Fr.
Carson Travis Sr.
Anna Whitaker So.
Kaylee Willis Fr.
Bailey Wilson Sr.
Girls Basketball Schedule
Dec 3, 202019 Massac Home 6:00 PM
Dec 5, 202019 Massac at Marshall County 5:30 PM Marshall County Hoopfest
Dec 7, 202019 Murray Away 4:30 PM
Dec 10, 202019 University Heights Away 7:30 PM
Dec 14, 202019 Southwestern Away 3:00 PM
Dec 17, 202019 Calloway County Away 6:00 PM
Dec 202019, 202019 Ballard Memorial Away 6:00 PM
Dec 21, 202019 Bardstown at Breckinridge County 1:15 PM Cecilian Bank Christmas Classic Dec 27, 202019 Christian County at South Warren 1:30 PM FNB Holiday Bash
Dec 28, 202019 South Warren Away 7:00 PM FNB Holiday Bash
Jan 7, 2020 McCracken County Home 6:00 PM
Jan 10, 2020 Mayfield home 6:00 PM
Jan 11, 2020 Cane Ridge, TN at Bowling Green 3:00 PM
Jan 16, 2020 Marion, IL Home 5:30 PM
Jan 17, 2020 Marshall County Away 6:00 PM
Jan 21, 2020 Hopkinsville Home 7:30 PM
Jan 23, 2020 Castle (Newburgh), IN Away 7:30 PM
Jan 25, 2020 Goodpasture at Marshall County TBD
Feb 1, 2020 McCracken County Away 6:00 PM
Feb 4, 2020 Paducah Tilghman Home 6:00 PM
Feb 7, 2020 Marshall County Home 6:00 PM
Feb 11, 2020 Ballard Memorial Home 6:00 PM
Feb 14, 2020 Mayfield Away 6:00 PM
Feb 15, 2020 Apollo home 4:30 PM
Feb 18, 2020 Calloway County Home 7:30 PM
Feb 20, 2020 Muhlenberg County Home 7:30 PM