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Chapman Feels Time Is Now for Magnolia

November 27, 2012
By JOSH STROPE , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

NEW MARTINSVILLE - Seven of the players on the Magnolia girls' basketball team recently came back from Charleston after a berth in the West Virginia State Volleyball Tournament.

So Coach Dave Chapman asks the question: Why not in basketball?

Magnolia has had a rough go of it in recent seasons, mainly because of an infusion of youth and inexperience, but Chapman feels he has a team that is ready to take the next step.

''It's been a total difference in the development of their play,'' Chapman said. ''The change has been quite noticeable. We are further ahead than even I thought we'd be. We had some tough times through the years, but we stuck together.

''We expect to compete this season. We are going to play a lot harder with the year's experience. We are going to do well. I really like the energy and attitude in these girls.''

There is still plenty of youth and inexperience to go around.

Magnolia has no seniors and has one junior in swing player Mallory Chapman.

Mallory Chapman, a 5-foot-10 junior, averaged 14.5 points per game and eight rebounds in her sophomore campaign. She also developed into a strong leader.

''She has grown up a lot on the basketball court, and this is me saying this as a coach and not her dad,'' Dave Chapman said. ''You can always put the leadership tag on someone, but Mallory has really earned it.

''She has set a good example in practice and this is a role she has taken real ownership in.''

Mallory Chapman will be part of a point guard-by-committee along with sophomores Katie Blatt and Audrey Gibb.

The rest of the starting lineup will consist of post player Jasmine Litton (5-11) and Kiera Standiford.

''Blatt and Gibb have looked really good,'' Dave Chapman said. ''We have a true post player in Litton and with Standiford and (Grace) Berisford, we are looking really strong. The girls know what is expected of them and they continue to improve each day.''

Berisford is one of three incoming freshmen looking to earn minutes for the Blue Eagles.

''She is a nice-looking player and does everything you need to do to be successful at the high school level,'' Dave Chapman said. ''How quickly she adjusts will determine how much we can use her.''

The others are Anna Gibb, Audrey's sister, and Cierra Fowler.

Abby Durig is coming off knee surgery but is back ready to go and looking to work her way onto the court at point guard.

Shannon Williams saw limited varsity time last season, while fellow sophomores Krysta Henderson and Lisa Patell will round out the bench.

''I know we jumped into a tough section when we dropped down (from Class AA to A) but getting to Charleston is a goal of ours,'' Dave Chapman said. ''There are a lot of good teams and hopefully at the end of the season, we will be mentioned in the same sentence as them.

''I'm not selling our kids short. They know how to win. They got to Charleston in volleyball. Why not basketball?''

Dave Chapman is assisted by Steve Ross.

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