UCA basketball teams poised for strong seasons

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Things may look a bit different on the court for the Union Christian Lions and Lady Lions, but coach Bobby Joe Douglas believes that can be a good thing for the future of the program.

The Lady Lions will have to rely more on their inside scoring and the play of Isabella Fulton and Kyra Hart, but that does not mean UCA won’t be able to shoot outside when they need to.

“We have to play more inside-out than last year,” Douglas said. “Not that we can’t shoot outside, but our strongest players are inside and you want to use that to your advantage,”

Douglas said Fulton and Hart, both seniors, have “been very impressive, and have great potential.”

Gracie Stokes, Emma Anders and Ashton Hodge will also start for the Lady Lions when they head to Shreveport Friday for the Claiborne Academy tournament.

“We are looking forward to this opportunity,” Douglas said.

“You don’t know from week to week who will be available to play (with the COVID-19 pandemic). It will be an intriguing year as we don’t know what is going to happen.”

For the UCA Lions, Douglas said you can “flip a coin” on a nightly basis as to who might lead the team.

Cross Talley, Joe Carpenter, Ashton Coleman, Reece Brown and Kayshawn Washington will be in the starting five. Coleman, Brown and Washington are returning starters from 2019-2020.

“We have five great starters,” Douglas said. “The potential is greater than last year. Last year they were just coming off football and we only had just a couple practices before our first game and didn’t have a lot of time to get conditioning work in or small things we needed to work on. This year the morale is different and we aren’t dealing with any discipline problems, we had a decent season but it started off rocky. Not necessarily focused. We are having some of the best practices that we have ever had.”