EASTERN VIEW GIRLS BASKETBALL: Expectations high - Star Exponent: Sports

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Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 3:25 am, Mon Nov 26, 2012.

With a 1,000-point scorer, two first team All-Battlefield District picks and 10 players with varsity experience back, it’s safe to say the Eastern View High School girls basketball team is stacked.
“These girls have been there before,” said head coach Mike McCombs, who is entering his fifth season at the helm. “They’ve played together for a few years now, and we’ve worked hard to be better on defense than we were last season.”
The Cyclones have been to four straight Region I tournaments since Eastern View opened in 2008, and earned a spot in the Group AA, Division 4 state tournament in 2010-’11.
Taylor Shanks became the first Eastern View player of either gender to eclipse 1,000 career points last season, and the four-year varsity starter has been named first team All-Battlefield District every year, and earned first team All-Region I the last two.
“The great thing about Taylor is she is willing to work hard,” McCombs said. “She was in the gym as soon as we opened it after last season. She’s had some colleges looking at her, and she knows what she needs to do to play at the next level.”
McCombs said Eastern Mennonite and Averette University are among the schools showing interest in Shanks, and that she spent the offseason working on her jumper.
“She has been a force for us in the paint, but she knows she’s going to have to play more on the perimeter in college,” McCombs said. 
Shanks averaged a double-double for the third year in a row last season, leading the Cyclones with 15.4 points and 12 rebounds a game. She also led the team in steals and assists.
Fellow first team all-district pick Ciara Jackson and twin sister, Tiara, will be manning the No. 2 and 3 guard spots again this season. Ciara averaged 13 points, three rebounds and three steals a game last season, and led the Cyclones with 16 3-pointers.
Tiara made the honorable mention all-district cut with four points, five rebounds and two steals a game.
“Ciara really came into her own as a scorer last season,” McCombs said. “And both of those girls are going to make a huge impact defensively this year.”
Veteran point guards Shirlena Bowles and Tanae Holmes will split time running the offense again this year, while sophomore Sadaja Clark, newcomer Dominique Scott and senior Sierra Mills fill out the guard rotation. 
Shanks will be joined in the paint by 6-foot-2 sophomore Angela Apperson, Lauren Brewer and four-year varsity starter Randi Mauck.
“Randi is such an effort player,” McCombs said. “She’s a bit undersized, but she goes out there and gives you 100 percent every night, and she isn’t scared to get in there and fight for a rebound.”
Cyclones preseason resume
Coach: Mike McCombs (5th year)
Last season: 16-5, lost to Courtland in Region I quarterfinals
Key returners
Taylor Shanks - F
Ciara Jackson - G
Tiara Jackson - G
Shirlena Bowles - PG
Tanae Holmes - PG
Randi Mauck - F
Angela Apperson - F
Key losses
Allison Corry - G/F
Season outlook
With 10 players with varsity experience back, the Cyclones have to be among the favorites in the Battlefield District. Taylor Shanks should compete for district player of the year again, and Ciara Jackson will be a threat on the perimeter and when she drives to the hoop.
The Cyclones’ season ended in the Region I quarterfinals last year with their third loss of the season against district-foe Courtland. McCombs knows the road to a district title will likely go through the Cougars again, but he isn’t counting anyone out.
“I think we’re building a strong rivalry with Courtland, but I think the district is going to be so even, anyone could beat anyone on any given night,” he said. “Courtland is going to be good again, and Spotsylvania has two of the top four or five players in the district.”
Cyclones’ roster
Taylor Shanks Sr
Shirlena Bowles Sr
Sierra Mills Sr
Randi Mauck Sr
Ciara Jackson Sr
Tiara Jackson Sr
Tanae Holmes Jr
Dominique Scott Jr
Lauren Brewer Jr
Angela Apperson So
Sadaja Clark So
Coach: Mike McCombs
Cyclones’ schedule
Nov. 26: at Liberty (Bealeton), 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 30: vs. Fauquier, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 7: vs. Liberty (Bealeton), 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 12: at Fauquier, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 18: vs. James Monroe, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 21: at King George, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 27: Cyclones Classic Tournament (Eastern View), TBA
Dec. 28: Cyclones Classic Tournament (Eastern View), TBA
Jan. 3: vs. Caroline, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 8: vs. Chancellor, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 11: at Spotsylvanai, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12: at Courtland, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 16: vs. Culpeper, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 18: at James Monroe, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 22: vs. King George, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 25: vs. Courtland, 7:30 p.m.,
Jan. 29: at Caroline, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 1: at Chancellor, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 5: vs. Spotsylvania, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 7: at Culpeper, 7:30 p.m.
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