With a youthful lineup under first-year head coach Carol Turner, the Sulphur Tors girls basketball team will lean on a trio of seniors to guide them this season.
Gabby Gunter returns at point guard while guard Kamryn Thibodeaux moves into the starting lineup after seeing limited action last season. Forward Abi Massey just rejoined the team after leading the Tor volleyball team to a 15-1 season and a state tournament appearance.
“I need them (seniors) to pull the other ones along and help them out on the floor and fill in the gaps while they are playing and to encourage them through the process of learning through game experience,” Turner said. “We really didn’t have the summer where we play games and learn to be a team. It is all right now when it counts. Your young ones are going to need that extra ‘you got this’ from the upperclassmen. We need composure from our seniors through the process.”
Turner looking to continue the success that the Tors had under her predecessor and former high school coach Helen Lefevre, who retired after last season. Lefevre went 825-346 in 36 seasons as a head coach, including 24 at Sulphur.
Turner said the transition has been smooth, but the season has had its unique challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic and a pair of destructive hurricanes that forced the Tors to evacuate twice and practice at SPAR until the gyms at Sulphur High were cleared for use.
Sulphur’s original season opener was supposed to be Monday against Elton, but the Indians had to cancel because of COVID-19 issues. Turner was able to schedule a game at the last minute with Rosepine, who held off the Tors to win 51-43 on Tuesday. The Eagles led 5-0 after a pair of buckets in the lane by Addison Fruge and Kelly Norris. Rosepine pushed its lead to 10-2 after a 3-pointer by Taylor Farris with 4:56 left in the first quarter. SHS battled back to cut the Eagles lead to 14-12 on a three by Coleman with 21 seconds left in the first quarter, but Sulphur struggled offensively at times. The Tors went scoreless for nearly six minutes in the third quarter and went 14 of 25 from the free-throw line. Sulphur had a chance to cut the Eagles’ lead to 40-36 midway through the fourth quarter but turned the ball over on a fastbreak.
Gunter led Sulphur with a game-high 17 points. Fruge led Rosepine with 15 points, and Farris finished with 11.