GIRLS BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Malden hopes to benefit from larger roster

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Pictured is the Malden varsity girls basketball program. Pictured left to right are: Aalliya Holmes, Hailey Rojas, Arionne Ross, Madison Mittag, Shamya Dobbins, and Madison Saulsbery.

Numbers are on the rise for the Malden Green Wave girls basketball program entering its 2019-20 campaign.

“We’ve got a larger group this season,” Malden coach Josh Herring said. “Last year we had around 12 girls in our high school program and this season we have 18.”

Six of the 18 players on the high school roster are upperclassmen.

“We’ve got six upperclassmen and we are looking to plug in three or four underclassmen to go with them on our varsity squad,” “Herring said. “We are not looking to bring all of our junior varsity girls up but the ones that can play the game well are going to be able to come up and contribute."

Malden graduated standout forward Gracie Thomas but returns everyone else that received significant playing time on last season’s varsity that finished 5-17 and won five of its final 10 games.

“Thomas played surprisingly well as a first-year player on varsity last year,” Herring said. “We will miss her but we are bringing our other starters back. We started off slow last season but got hot in the end. We are looking to pick up where we left off."

Returning junior small forward Madison Saulsbery brought down close to 10 rebounds a game and scored in double digits frequently last season.

“She’s a well-rounded player that averaged close to a double-double for us last season,” Herring said.

Senior forward Arionne Ross, senior guard Shamya Dobbins, and senior forward Madison Mittag are the other three upperclassmen that received frequent starts last season.

“We don’t have great length but our returners play well together on defense,” Herring said. “We had a great summer together and we are kind of looking to build off of that."

Herring said sophomores Makinley Walker and Mallory Perkins along with freshmen Jada Townsend and Brydon Maddox are leading candidates to split time between the junior varsity and varsity squads.

Malden opens its season Nov. 22 when it hosts Oran.

“They should be pretty solid,” Herring said. “They won’t be as good as the team with Leah Cauble but they will still be very solid.”

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Pictured is the Malden junior varsity girls basketball team. Pictured front row left to right are: Xzana Harris, Yamileth Valdes, Kaliyah White, Deniya McCaskill, Makinley Walker, and Crystal Allen; pictured back row left to right are: Rachel Rommel, Brydon Maddox, Jada Townsend, Mallory Perkins Allison DeArman, and Kandee Harris.

Malden Girls Basketball Schedule

DateOpponentLocation
11/22OranHome
12/2East CarterAway
12/5KellyHome
12/9HolcombAway
12/12HaytiHome
12/16NMCCHome
12/19CharlestonAway
12/21-28Royals ClassicBroseley
1/6CaruthersvilleHome
1/9KennettHome
1/13Seanth-H’villeHome
1/16South PemiscotHome
1/21Twin RiversAway
1/23PortagevilleAway
1/27CampbellAway
1/28PuxicoHome
2/1-2/7BHC TournamentTBA
2/10East PrairieAway
2/13AdvanceAway
2/20DoniphanHome
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