While nearly every program was disadvantaged by last year’s shortened season, it particularly hampered a young Freeport girls’ team that underwent a major roster turnover.
But that challenge presents a unique opportunity that veteran head coach Meredith Jones is more than ready for. It also doesn’t hurt to have a standout player in All-County junior Taneece Wooden. The third-year varsity performer standing at 5-11 excels at all facets of the sport, from running the offense, to scoring from the outside or in the post, and driving to the hoop. “She can do it all,” said Jones.
Freeport suffered a big blow when it lost its second-leading scorer, junior Anayah Lloyd, who tore her ACL over the summer and will miss the entire season. But two other experienced and versatile seniors, guard Ancksu Dixon and forward Windney Destin, will help pick up the slack offensively.
Two sophomore guards, Star Asia Gaines and Ania Crocker, round out the starting five. Jones praised both for their chemistry alongside each other and their scoring abilities.
But with no other returning players on the roster, the second unit presents a bit more of a work-in progress. Jones hopes the team’s short non-conference schedule will provide the opportunity for players to step up and show what they can do. For now, she has her eye on junior Zaria Chaplin, a guard who brings speed and a high basketball I.Q. to the court.
Freeport is typically a perennial contender in Conference AA-1, and Jones sees no reason why that won’t be the case this winter, even with the early season question marks. “I still think we’ll be one of the top teams,” she said. “We have a solid starting five. “I want our offense to stem from our defense and for us to really push the ball.”