DANVILLE – Life will be very different for the Holly Pond Lady Broncos next basketball season. After two consecutive appearances in the Alabama High School 3A state championship game, the Lady Broncos must replace four seniors including two key starters in Natasha Holcombe and Rachel Finley.
Holly Pond will also return to the Northwest Regional after spending the past two seasons competing in the Northeast Regional at Jacksonville.
Scott Adams had his ball club go through four rounds of playdays, finishing out Thursday at the Danville Team Camp, winning two of three decisions.
The Lady Broncos started their very busy by outscoring Lawrence County 50-41. Then the offense had some sluggish moments in which the team came up short to Decatur 42-39.
Holly Pond came back in the early afternoon to topple the Sparkman Junior Varsity 37-29. For the summer, the Lady Broncos went 6-3 with tours at Danville, Brindlee Mountain and Samford University.
The Lady Broncos return a very valuable player in senior to be point guard Meg Gambrill. Gambrill was at her best throughout Thursday in scoring, delivering the ball to others and giving all out hustle from one end of the floor to the other.
Joining her in providing some outstanding play was Melissa Clingman. Clingman came off the bench last season and played well down the stretch with Holly Pond making a second straight trip to the title game in 3A at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center.
Determined to fill the vacancy of the graduates were the following. Taylor Tankersley, Abby Gambrill, Ruth Bowden, Adair Gillilan and Molly Gambrill.
These youngsters played for the junior varsity last season in which they finished second in the Cullman County Tournament to Cold Springs.
In the game with Lawrence County, the Lady Broncos were down 13-5 when they went on a 17-4 run and went ahead before the half ended 22-17. A 28-point performance in the second half featured scoring by Meg Gambrill and Clingman to give them a good start on the day.
But playing two in a row didn't serve purpose from the beginning. The Lady Broncos managed just 12 points against Decatur and looked at a double digit deficit by halftime.
However, they kept playing hard, scored 27 in the final half and pulled within three points when time expired.
The Lady Broncos were anchored in their final game by the play of Clingman. She scored several times on steals against the Sparkman JV with Holly Pond leading 21-15 at the half.
Adams' unit played the first two games inside Danville Middle School then went on the high school gym, having to deal with heavy rain that caused the parking lot of Danville High School to be flooded.
A rival from Cullman County was also there Thursday to perform. After Holly Pond's three assignments, the Fairview Lady Aggies took to the floor and came out victorious over Winston County, Addison and Decatur Heritage.
Mary Lauren Hartline is in her second season coaching the Lady Aggies and will have a young team with rising talent, featuring ninth grade point guard Taylor Yeager and plenty of shooters from Dalys Mullican, Jada Golden, Abby Schnittker and Ashley Latham along with Desiree Wilhite in the post.