SCORING: Without star, team will count on scoring by committee

Danny Schoenbaechler

Western has had an abundance of star quality in recent seasons. While the program has struggled, they have had their share of prolific scorers.

Over the past three years, Western superstars Natalie Powers and ShaRae Mansfield carried the Lady Hilltoppers.

Powers finished her career last season and Mansfield in 2001, both ranking among the school’s best ever.

Each were All-American candidates, and garnered much attention from their opponents’ defenses. Powers led the Lady Tops with 17.6 points a game a year ago.

But this year’s team is without such a marquee leader.

Western head coach Mary Taylor Cowles said that without a go-to scorer, the Lady Toppers will need a more united front.

“This season, if we don’t show up as a team, we won’t be very successful,” Cowles said.

Now, without a headliner, Western will attack with an ensemble cast of scorers.

“We will be looking to our senior captain Kristina Covington to carry some of the scoring,” Cowles said.

Covington is the team’s senior guard and team leader.

“I definitely think that I can help with scoring,” Covington said. “I feel comfortable taking on some of the scoring load.”

Covington was fourth on the team in scoring last year with 9.5 points per game.

“She’s quick and she looks to score,” junior Leah Lineberry said. “I definitely think that she is going to score a lot this season.”

Western will also be looking to junior guard Leslie Logsdon to shoulder more of the scoring load.

“I think that Leslie Logsdon will do a lot of good things this season,” Covington said. “She is a very underrated player.”

Logsdon is the team’s leading returning scorer after averaging 12.2 points per game last year.

“Leslie probably has more potential than anybody else on the floor,” Cowles said.

And senior Shala Reese and junior Lineberry will provide some help in the post, rounding out a multi-faceted attack.

“Last year everybody focused on Natalie,” Lineberry said. “This year they will have to respect all of us. I really think that our communication is going to be our biggest strength.”

Reese averaged 9.6 points per game last season while Lineberry put away 2.6 a contest in limited action.

“I hope that Shala Reese will come back strong,” Cowles said.

Reese is recovering from knee surgery. She is somewhat of a question mark coming back – like the offense.

As the new season approaches, the Lady Tops will have to wait and see where exactly the scoring will come from. But it definitely won’t be from one source.

“Our main strength will be working as a team,” Lineberry said.