The Liberty High girls basketball team is at that point in the winter where hopes are high about turning the corner for a winning season.
“My team is finally coming around,” said Red Devils coach John Schumpert.
Heading into a Jan. 17 matchup against Pendleton, Liberty was 6-7, including 3-2 in Skyline AA Region play.
“We’ve won four out of the last five and just had a huge win against Blacksburg, the defending conference champion,” Schumpert said. “We hit 25 of 29 free throws to seal that game.”
The team that beat them during that five-game stretch was from Rosman, N.C., Schumpert said.
Liberty is a young, athletic squad with just two seniors.
“I lost two starters off last year’s team that decided to play volleyball. So some of the younger girls had to step up,” said Schumpert, who is in his third year as coach.
Freshman Kiley James is showing huge potential, breaking into double digits in scoring in a couple of games. Junior Jessica Rampey, the leading scorer, is providing key leadership in her third year on the varsity, and the floor presence of senior Kenzie Alexander is “unbelievable.”
“She makes everybody around her so much better,” the coach said.
Liberty rallied from two tough region losses in December.
“We are a bunch of young pups out there. But since Christmas, things are starting to click for us,” Schumpert said.
“The biggest thing we’re working on is the press, trying to pick up the tempo of the game and get up and down the floor. This team is a lot more athletic than we’ve been in years past, so we’re able to push the floor a little bit.”