CHARLESTON -- You can't ask for a much better situation to step into as a rookie head coach than Josh Thompson has entered in taking over the reigns of the Charleston lady Bluejays program this season.
After two straight trips to the Class 3, District 1 title game, Charleston returns three starters that were key to both of those postseason runs.
"There are not many people in my shoes that get this opportunity to take over what's going to be a pretty good team (my) first year," Thompson said.
Two of those girls, Kasuela Cooper and Eneikqua Ewing, make up a deadly tandem that Thompson expects to keep his offense putting up big numbers all year long.
Cooper comes in as the leading scorer from last season's squad, averaging 19.4 points per game along with 13.1 rebounds.
"We have two (girls) that I think on any team other than our team, they could both get 20 to 25 points a game," he said. "Cooper will probably still get the 20 to 25 points a game for us. She doesn't have to have the ball to be good. She can go up and rebound and she can do a lot of other things.
"Ewing will be down inside (along with Cooper). That's made life really easy on me. We want the ball in the paint every time going to one of them."
Other key contributors returning include Jackie Smith and Taylor Duenne. They will be joined by newcomers Jameshia Hamilton, a Cape Central transfer, and incoming freshman Demeshia Owens, both of whom Thompson expects to play key roles on the team.
One things Thompson does hope to change is the Lady Bluejays recent luck in district championship games. After back-to-back second place finishes, including last year's 52-26 loss to Kennett in the finals, he hopes his team can finally get over the hump.
"Two years in a row we have been districts runner up," he said. "We feel we have more coming back and that we can take that leap.
"Starting out I told them that we can go four-and-whatever, but we want to win three games in districts," Thompson said. "Whatever happens from there, we're playing with house money."
|N.29||East Prairie, 6 p.m.|
|D.2||at Scott City, 6 p.m.|
|D.6||Hayti, 6 p.m.|
|D.9||at Meridian, Ill., 6 p.m.|
|D.16||Delta, 6 p.m.|
|D.18-23||Lady Royals Tourney, TBA|
|J.6||Caruthersville, 6 p.m.|
|J.10||at Scott-Miss Tourney, TBA|
|J.18||at South Pemiscot, 6 p.m.|
|J.20||NMCC, 6 p.m.|
|J.22||Coaches v. Cancer, TBA|
|J.24||at Cape Central, 6 p.m.|
|J.27||at Malden, 6 p.m.|
|J.31||Kelly, 6 p.m.|
|F.3||Oran, 6 p.m.|
|F.7||at Scott Central, 6 p.m.|
|F.8||Chaffee, 6 p.m.|
|F.10||at Sikeston, 6 p.m.|
|F.17||Kennett, 6 p.m.|
|F.24||Woodland, 6 p.m.|
|F.26||District Tourney, TBA|