The Liberty High girls basketball team entered the season with three upperclassmen.
Then the Red Devils’ most experienced player, junior guard Kenzie Alexander, injured a knee early in the season.
“We are really young,” Liberty coach John Schumpert said. “We are playing with a bunch of ninth- and 10th-graders. I can’t say enough about the way our younger players have played early this season.”
Schumpert has been particularly impressed by the play of two young guards: sophomore Jessica Rampey and freshman Anna Martin. Rampey, a two-year starter, leads the Red Devils in scoring. Martin has played her way into the starting lineup.
“Anna has played really well lately,” Schumpert said. “She is becoming a scoring threat and is playing really well on the defensive end of the floor.”
Junior Emily Clardy returned to the basketball court after taking a year off.
“She has shown flashes of playing very good basketball this season,” said Schumpert.
Clardy posted her first career double-double (11 points and 15 rebounds) in Liberty’s Skyline AA Region victory against Crescent on Dec. 18.
By beating Crescent, Liberty captured its third win and eclipsed last year’s victory total.
“Our girls were so excited,” Schumpert said. “A lot of people see the scores, but they don’t see the progress. We’ve seen so much progress already this season.”
The Red Devils competed in the Apple Classic Christmas Tournament at Wahalla High School, and although Liberty did not win a game, Schumpert took some positives from the experience.
“Earlier this season, we were really struggling with turnovers,” said Schumpert. “As of late, we have cut down on turnovers.
“Before every game and every practice, I tell the girls, ‘Let’s get better at something today.’ We have really improved in every facet of the game.”