The Central DeWitt girls basketball team is ranked No. 11 in Class 4A to kick off the 2019-2020 basketball season, and they’re certainly hungry for success.
The Sabers are coming off of a 16-5 season, led by an impressive duo of freshmen who are back for their sophomore campaign.
Both Taylor Veach and Allison Meadows led in scoring – Veach averaging 13.8 points a game last season and Meadows averaging 111.3. They’re the top two returners, putting in a collective 60 three point shots.
Also returning for the Sabers in the top rebounder and fifth top scorer Talbot Kinney. Kinney pulled down 124 rebounds while also dishing out 41 assists.
That’s a lot of experience for head coach Chad Specht to work with in his fifth season. That’s also why the Sabers are going in to the regular season ranked.
He did lose five talented seniors, two of which wre in the top five scorers last season. Players like Lauren Wisco and Emily Swanson added some height and athleticism, but also leadership.
“We lost five seniors from last year’s squad...athletes and our leadership core,” Specht said. “This year’s group is trying to figure out how to replace that.”
But having talent brings a natural leadership role, and that’s where Veach and Meadows will be sitting. The two are AAU players as well, with a lot of experience playing with each other and with the rest of the Sabers.
“Regardless of talent and regardless of age, the girls recognize who works the hardest,” Specht said. “We have some younger kids who work their tails off and they understand what it takes and where we want to be.”
Height may be the area they struggle with the most, relying mostly on speed as far as their strength.
“DeWitt has struggled with height, we can’t get girls who are tall,” Specht said. “That’s something you can’t teach is height, but we teach fundamentals, toughness and giving full effort night in and night out.”
Effort is one of the things he claims is a strength for his squad, who is prepping for a move to the Mississippi Athletic Conference next season. They still have to compete in the WaMaC for one more season, and they’re looking to claim that conferene title.
“Quickness is one of them. I’d say we have a lot of experience coming back. One of our staples that we constantly push from youth on up is defense.”
They open up their regular season on Tuesday night, traveling to South Tama.