The York Institute Dragonettes are coming off of a tough loss at the hands of top-ranked, 2A power Macon County.
Before that however, this is a team that has been rolling. After winning three games to win their holiday tournament, which including games against Red Boiling Springs, Maplewood and Cloudland, the roll continued with wins over Oneida and Smith County as well.
Part of it, according to Head Coach Michael Green, is due to their young freshmen stepping up early in their careers.
“They’ve done well,” Green said. “Any time you have a winning record and you have freshmen contributing to that, they’ve obviously done some things well.”
That’s the case with York’s Gabby Beaty and Ellie Leffew, who spend a lot of time on the court together and each plays a significant role in the team’s wins, Green says.
“Gabby and Ellie both usually start for us,” Green said. “If they are ever both (playing well) on the same night, we’re pretty tough to beat. It’s just about getting them on the same page on the offensive end and defensive end.”
They’ve earned their share of accolades too, as both were named to the Sergeant York Christmas Tournament All-Tournament Team for their play. Beaty recently put up 15 points in the win over Oneida, and did so on the strength of four three-point makes.
Leffew scored 17 points in a tough loss against Cookeville on Jan. 7, but played an integral role in getting the game into overtime. The focus for Green is for not only those two, but also the rest of the team to keep getting better in every phase of the game.
“We’re only as good as our weakest player,” Green said. “We spend a lot of our time on fundamentals and dribbling and passing…I take a little pride in trying to improve each player individually. Hopefully by the time the season is over, we will see that even more.”