By Paul Hines
MT. VERNON — Girls basketball season has officially started.
The Lady Rams took the court Monday at Changnon Gymnasium for the first time this season. Tryouts continue through Wednesday.
“We've anticipated today for quite some time,” Mt. Vernon coach Jeff Lonnon said.
Mt. Vernon hit the 20-win mark a season ago and won the South Seven Conference title.
“I think in your program you're anxious to see what you can follow that up with,” Lonnon said. “It's going to be a challenge, but I think that we set a nice tone for our program last year. We took it to another level that we hadn't been to for a while.
“We've just taken those steps along the way.”
The Lady Rams enter the season with three returning starters – Hannah Owens, Claire Ryan and Courtney Scarbrough. A season ago the guard dominated Lady Rams consistently played with four guards around Owens in the post. Lonnon said this year the team can take the same approach or add another dimension with a second post player to pair with Owens.
“We also have the option now to go a little stronger inside and play two post players as opposed to one,” Lonnon said. “We've been almost exclusive one post offense for years here.”
About 35 athletes tried out for the team this season. Lonnon said the number is consistent compared to past years.
“That's another thing we can be really thankful for is our numbers are the best in the conference bar none,” Lonnon said. “There are some of our conference schools who are struggling to put together a single freshman team much less enough for an A and a B.”
The focus for the Lady Rams over the next three weeks will be preparation for their opening season tournament in Nashville during Thanksgiving week.