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The Knoxville Lady Panthers program is coming off a super summer, and Coach Don Brown is confident that the club is poised for a successful run in the coming years.
“We feel like the summer went really, really well for our program,” Brown said. “We got a lot of great looks for our kids at the Deep South Classic and the Nashville Tournament of Champions, and four of our 2015 girls have Division I offers. That’s pretty impressive for a rural program like ours.
“We’re losing some quality players, but we have a good group moving forward. This year we will have two strong players in the Class of 2016 leading the team, and then we have two very, very talented young players from the Class of 2018.”
“Kayla is a big time scorer. She injured her ACL a year ago in July, but she is back to 100 percent now,” Brown said. “She is a long, lanky kid, and she is very athletic. She can easily shoot it out to the three-point line, she can slash to the basket and finish, and she can run the point.
“Katie is new to our program this year, and she already has several offers. She is a four-five player who can stretch a defense out to the three-point line. She is very accurate from 15 feet in, and she is very good at catch-and-shoot. She has good fundamentals inside, and she is a dominant rebounder.”
The Lady Panthers will be getting more quality looks at the Marietta Tournament of Champions. The event will be held at the Suwanee Sports Academy complex in Marietta, just outside of Atlanta over the weekend of September 27-28.
The two players who will be carrying the leadership mantle for the Lady Panthers will be Kayla Mullins (2016, 5-9, SG) and Katie Steegle (2016, 6-2, P).
“Sydni has grown recently. She usually runs the point for us, but she plays some off guard. She has very advanced skills for her age. She has a great handle, she is a great shooter, and she can take you off the dribble. Plus, she is a tenacious defender.
“Taylor is just a physically dominant player. She is strong and aggressive, and she can take just about anyone off the dribble. She is working hard now on her three-point shooting.”
All Star Girls Report analyst Bret McCormick also added his perspective on the Lady Panther leaders. “Mullins is a combo guard with good quickness. She has the fundamentals, the understanding of the game, and the shooting ability,” he said. “Steegle is a big, strong kid with the ability to score on the block, or she can step out to the arc. She also has a high motor — she’s always playing hard.”
Mullins and Steegle will be complemented by young stars Sydni Lollar (2018, 6-0, G) and Taylor Lamb (2018, 5-10, W).
“Sydni runs the point for us, and she plays some off guard,” Brown said. “She has very advanced skills for her age — she can handle it, shoot it, and take you off the dribble. Plus, she is tenacious on the defensive end. Taylor is just a physically dominant athlete. She is strong and aggressive, and she can take almost anyone off the dribble. She is working hard on her shooting range now.”
“Lollar is just a very, very skilled player,” added McCormick. “She has a pull-up jumper and a nice floater, and she can post you up. She also plays defense, so she is an all-around player. Lamb is very athletic. She is a strong, aggressive lefty who can slash to the basket and finish versus contact.”