Lady Hornets begin basketball season on Thursday; Face New Washington at home

Malik Cook-Stroupe has set some high goals in his first season as head coach of the Medora Lady Hornets basketball team.

“We want to win the (Southern Roads) Conference, and we want to have a winning season,” he said. ”We are trying to get this thing turned around. We have high hopes.”

He was an assistant coach for Mark Morin and the boys team last winter and was an assistant on another high school staff prior to coming to Medora.

Originally from Homewood, Alabama, Cook-Stroupe played college ball at University of Alabama Huntsville and played with the Medora Timberjacks the past two seasons.

He is a firm believer in strong fundamentals.

“A team with good fundamentals can beat a team with more talent,” he said and mentioned he has had the players work extensively on passing and blocking out.

Cook-Stroupe said he would like to see the Hornets get the ball out and run when they have the opportunity.

“I like to do it fast,” he said. “We’ve been practicing moving around. We want to score early, and if we can’t, we want to make the other team guard us.”

Cook-Stroupe is working with a roster of nine players.

There are four seniors on the roster. Jenna Bowers, Aaralyn Hackney and Peyton Spence are returning starters, and Marissa Lichtley is new to the basketball program.

Bowers scored 287 points last winter for an average of 15.1 per game, and Hackney averaged 10.9.

Bowers set a single-game scoring record with 42 points against Bloomington Lighthouse, and she scored 37 against Crothersville, 35 against Seven Oaks and was in double figures 11 times.

Hackney had a high game of 25 against Dugger Union and 19 against Anderson Prep.

Cook-Stroupe said he wants Bowers to be able to shoot when she can get her shot.

He knows she will face a lot of double-teams this season.

“We’re doing things for her to get the ball out of her hands early,” he said. “She’s got to be able to shoot from the outside. I’m hoping Aaralyn can score a lot, and Marissa and Brelee (Underwood) have pretty nice post &ames.”

Other members of the team are juniors Underwood and Mikayla McCory and sophomores Greer Brown, Isabelle Spence and Heavenlee Brown. Underwood, Peyton Spence and Heavenlee Brown were starters last winter.

Cook-Stroupe said he plans to have the Hornets mix it up on defense with different types of zones, both half-court and full-court.

The Hornets were 4-15 last year. They will open their season by hosting New Washington at 6 p.m. Thursday.