Senior trio leading the historic path for the Lady Pioneers
|Shayne Combs, email@example.com
I once had an assistant coach who sarcastically looked at me my freshman year and said, â€œYou know
the best thing about freshmen?â€�
â€œNo,â€� I replied.
â€œThey eventually become sophomores,â€� he responded while laughing.
As a young and dumb 14-year-old kid I did not totally understand what he was saying; however, after
coaching multiple sports for over a decade now, I totally grasp the meaning of his message. It is always
exciting to have great young players in your program. You see the huge ceiling in terms of talent, and you
are eager to help those kids reach their potential. Even better than potential is the finished product. A
senior â€“ especially a four-year senior â€“ represents your program and what you believe a student-
athlete should be at the end of the road. Seniors bring maturity, leadership, and stability to teams. In a day
where more and more kids are quitting sports and deciding to just â€œfocusâ€� on one sport, four-year
seniors are harder to come by which makes them more important than ever.
This is the case for this yearâ€™s Zane Trace girlsâ€™ basketball team. Erin Dailey, Sierra Sigman, and
Jenna Wiget make up this yearâ€™s senior class. The trio makes up nearly 70-percent of ZTâ€™s
offensive output. They also impact just about every other aspect of the game as well. Dailey is the leagueâ
€™s most dominating defender. The 6â€™0â€� center led the SVC this season in rebounding with over
11 per game. Dailey also recorded a league-best in block shots with a total at an incredible five per game.
Dailey was even second in the league with 3.5 steals per night. Sigman is one of the leagueâ€™s most
complete offensive talents. She scores a team best 13 points per game (4th best in SVC). Sigman is also
in the top-10 of the SVC in rebounding, assists, free throw percentage, field goal percentage, steals, and
three-pointers made. Wiget, who handles the point guard duties for the Lady Pioneers, is a perfect fit for
Coach Dunkleâ€™s style. She is a tough, competitive player who takes great pride in the intangibles.
Wiget is in the top-five in the league in assists, steals, FT percentage, and three-pointers made.
You can tell by listening to the words of Coach Dunkle or any other person close to the ZT program just
how important this senior trio is to the program, but make no mistake about the fact that this program
would not be playing for a district championship Saturday if not for some great contributions from their
underclassmen. This list starts with Kelsey Dunkle. Dunkle is the SVCâ€™s top three-point shooter on
one end and a great perimeter defender on the other. Her toughness and competitiveness is the perfect
backcourt match for Wiget.
Earlier, I mentioned how exciting freshmen with huge ceilings in terms of potential can be to have in a
program. A great example of this comes from Zane Traceâ€™s fifth starter in Hayley Carle. Carle is such
a gifted athlete. From day one, she proved to be an outstanding defender, but as the year moved into the
second half, she started to show some offensive skills as well. I felt like last weekend that her first-quarter
offensive output was very important in terms of helping Zane Trace build its first half lead.
The other improvement for ZT is in its depth. The return of Karina Partee from injury has helped the Lady
Pioneers, and Joanna Saultz has consistently come off the bench to produce some key plays that often go
unnoticed on the stat sheet.
I know Saturdayâ€™s task of taking down a state power such as Oak Hill is a tough task, but I feel Zane
Traceâ€™s toughness gives them a chance. I feel the key will be ZTâ€™s ability to handle the
basketball. The Lady Pioneers have proven they will compete defensively in the scrimmage area, so they
canâ€™t afford to allow Oak Hill to cause turnovers and get out and go. When you consider how
Peebles was able to generate these opportunities in the third quarter last weekend, a big turnover number
against Oak Hill could lead to a long evening in Athens this Saturday. On the hand, if ZT does value the
possession and make some shots, I feel their defense will give them a chance to pull the upset.
Best of luck to Coach Dunkle and his girls from SVCsportszone.com.