The Allen County-Scottsville Lady Patriot
basketball teams enters the 2017-18 season with hopes set on returning to the
Region 4 tournament---and perhaps beyond. A year removed from a 14-16 season is
expected to bring an improved and more experienced AC-S team to the court for
11th year head coach Brad Bonds.
“Going into last year we knew we were young
and inexperienced at some key spots,” coach Bonds recalled. “We progressed in a
lot of areas last year but not as much in other areas. But, I feel like what we
didn’t progress on last year, we have really gained some momentum in the summer
and the preseason.”
Bonds is quick to note that basketball last season
and throughout the summer has given his team the court time to be more
competitive this year.
“Our kids needed floor time,” Bonds said.
“They needed to learn to jell together. For the most part, that has been
accomplished. They have worked hard and put themselves in a position to be very
competitive among the region’s best teams and some of the state’s best teams.”
The Lady Patriots will be anchored by five
seniors---experienced players that bring variety to the court. Seniors includes
Bailee Alderson, Baylea Cook, Sydney Day, Kali Mutter, and KaeLee Stafford.
Bailee Alderson returns to the team after
missing the final 12 games of last year due to injury. Prior to the injury in
the Greenwood game, Alderson was averaging 1.4 points and 2.7 rebounds. Her presence
will give the Lady Patriots a stronger post game.
“Bailee went out in mid January and was not
able to play this summer,” Bonds said, adding. “It was a concern whether she
could ever play again fortunately she will and is looking very good. Adding
Bailee back in gives us length, strength inside, and allow us to do more
offensively by spreading Mason and Sarah out on the floor. This preseason,
Bailee has come along way. We are thrilled to have her comeback and not miss
much of a beat. Having Bailee adds weapons to our offense.”
Baylea Cook and Kali Mutter returns giving
the Lady Patriot coaches a pair of role players that bring offense and defense
talents to the court. Cook averaged just under two points a game while Mutter
was known as the team’s defensive stopper in their 30 games last year.
“Baylea is very good offensively and Kali is
one of the best we have ever had defensively,” Bonds explained. “Finding
opportunities for them to use their assets will be key. Both have worked hard
to develop the weaknesses they have. Kali is working to develop her shot
offensively and Bayle continues to get better defensively. The key for us is
for those girls to hone in on the weaknesses and offer us more complete
Sydney Day will again be asked to direct the
Lady Patriot attack. Day---a starter in 28 games last season---averaged 3.9
points, three rebounds, and 2.5 assists as a junior. A year under her belt has strengthened
Day into a proven point guard.
“Sydney has come a long way in the last
year,” Bonds said, adding, “if nothing else, in just her confidence to score
with a mid-range jump shot and being able to finish around the rim better than
she did last year. She also has confidence in leading the team. Sydney has
become a great leader and motivator. She is being asked to be a big part of our
team in leadership.”
KaeLee Stafford has the least experience of
any senior in terms of court time yet brings to the team the ability to knock
down key baskets or free throws in certain situations.
“You may see KaeLee in at the end of games
to offer us another free throw shooter weapon when we have a lead and spread
things out,” Bonds noted. “KaeLee also offers us a great basketball IQ. She has
one of the sharpest IQ’s I have ever seen in basketball. There are times I
bounce ideas off of her in practice. She is very intelligent and has a great mind
and there is always a place for that on this basketball team.”
Bonds adds that the seniors “all have their
pieces and understand their pieces” and that is what makes the class of 2018
The Lady Patriots will gave three
juniors---Sarah Sutton, Mason Towery, and Jaylee Woods.
Sutton is the veteran of the team having
made 90 starts and appeared in 122 games since her seventh-grade season. Last
year, the 5’11” forward averaged 17.9 points and 7.8 rebounds. Her free throw
shooting percentage of 83.5% ranked her 15th in the state. Sutton enters her
junior season with 1,058 points---13th on the all-time scoring list---and with
a career total of 625 rebounds. To date, Sutton has recorded 16 career
double-double games in points and rebounds. She was a Region 4, Second Team
selection at the end of last year.
Towery has emerged as one of the region’s
top players as well. As a sophomore, Towery averaged 13.7 points and six
rebounds a game. The 5’11” forward led or shared in scoring honors nine times
and led or shared in rebounding honors 11 times last season. Towery was named
to 2017 Region 4 All-Region, Third Team. She will start her junior season 31st
on all-time Lady Patriot scoring list with 628 points.
“Sarah and Mason are among the region’s top
players,” Bonds said. “A lot of what we do goes through those two athletes. One
of the reasons that our seniors are special is that they understand their roles
and their piece in providing the best opportunities for Sarah and Mason to go
and make plays. We’re looking for Sarah and Mason to have big years but it
can’t be just about Sarah and Mason. This entire team has to be prepared
offensively and defensively every night to do what they are capable of doing so
that teams don’t just take away Sarah and Mason and leave us with no other
options. Sarah and Mason can play and are capable of playing at the next
A strong positive to both Towery and Sutton
lies in the fact that each can take their games outside the paint.
“Mason is a complete player,” Bonds added.
“She is good defensively, Mason alters things with he length. She is a great
rebounder and a great ball handler. Her versatility allows us to do a lot of
things in our offense. Mason can play point guard, scoring guard, the wing or
the post. Sarah is a lot of the same way. She shoots the ball well from outside
and can handle the basketball in the open floor. Sarah can break you down off
the dribble and play with her back to the basket.”
Bonds points out that Woods continues to
make strides despite being the team’s smallest player (5’1”) in height. Last
season, Woods appeared in 29 games and slowed flashes of her potential with her
“Jaylee has had a wonderful summer and a very
impressive preseason,” Bonds said. “I’m very pleased with what she is doing
right now. If she continues to play well she will turn a lot of heads in this
community and in this region.”
The remaining varsity rosters will include
role players that have the potential to contribute in different ways throughout
“We have several underclassmen that could
see time,” Bonds added. “The players on the varsity roster have assets that can
help this team be successful.”
Roster players include Kaylee Bullington,
Jae McReynolds, Allison Meador, Taylor Carter, and Chloe Cook. The group is
expected to have roles on the varsity and will improve with junior varsity
experience---with Meador being the exception. In the Lady Patriots preseason
scrimmage in Lebanon, Meador tore her ACL. The injury required surgery and will
necessitate her missing the entire season as she undergoes recovery and
“That will affect us,” Bonds said. “Allison
had a good summer and was going to be a key factor for us. We were looking at
balancing our offensive attack with her. Allison had become an offensive
threat. But, we have other kids that have the capabilities but they need to
Bonds is expecting District 15 to be
competitive as usual. Last season, AC-S finished with a 1-6 district record,
including a loss to Monroe County in the opening round of the District
tournament. The loss snapped a four year streak in which AC-S had reached the
district tournament finals and the Region 4 tournament.
“Going in, I think you are looking at Barren
and Allen as being the top two teams in the district,” Bonds explained.
“Glasgow lost a lot with (Eli) Bartley and (Skyler) Burd graduating. They still
have athletes that can dominate the boards and inside. Glasgow will always be a
threat. Monroe County took a hit with graduation. They have a new coach and a
new roster of kids that will be learning and growing as the year goes along.
You can never count them out. Barren County and Allen are the teams out of the
gate that will be the top two teams.”
In the Region 4 race, Bonds sees South
Warren---the team AC-S opens the season with on November 28---along with
defending Region 4 champion Russell County---as the top two teams, followed by
Barren and AC-S. Bonds sees Bowling Green, Greenwood, and Logan County among
the top seven.
For the Lady Patriots to be successful this
year, Bonds will look for his team to finish the year strong, improve game to
game, and avoid additional injuries.
“I felt like we kind of faded at the end of
the year last season,” Bonds admitted. “We can attribute that to a lot of
different factors. Our inexperience in the situation last year was one thing.
We put ourselves in a bad spot and had to play Monroe County in the first game
of the district. But, I feel like that has taken care of itself. These kids are
hungry to get back to the regional tournament. By season’s end, if we stay
healthy and if we continue to get better in our offense and if we can get
consistent scorers outside Mason and Sarah, then we are going to be a hard team
to beat come the end of the year.”
Bonds also expects his Lady Patriots to
improve on the defensive end of the court.
“We did not play defensively last year as we
had in the last several years,” Bonds explained. “That was because we were
small and inexperienced. We have several options to negate the fact that we do
have small guards. We are going to be bigger than what we were last year.
Bailee Alderson helps us. Our guards know how to use their lack of height to
their advantage. We will be a lot better defensively”
The Lady Patriots will again play a
challenging schedule. In addition to the district and region opponents, AC-S
will step outside of Region 4 play in games against Central Hardin, Casey
County, Muhlenberg County, Owensboro Catholic, Apollo, and Caverna. The squad
will face three unknowns in a holiday tournament in Maryville Tennessee as well
as hosting the annual South Central Bank-Halton Classic---an eight team
tournament that includes Tennessee powerhouse Upperman as well as Simon Kenton
and Madisonville-North Hopkins.
The Lady Patriots enter their 44th season in
realistic expectation of reaching the 800-win milestone. AC-S girls basketball
has an overall record of 790-429. If the team reaches the 800-win mark, the
Lady Patriot program will become only the sixth Kentucky school to achieve the