Members of the Joppa High School Lady Rangers basketball team for 2021-22 are, from left, (seated) Cadence Mescher, Ava Stephens, Catherine Harris; (standing) Rachelle Cox, Sky Keeling, Jaelyn Marley, Cadence Sharp and Angel Leach.

Jori DeNeve is back for her second go at the helm of Joppa’s Lady Rangers basketball program, and things are already looking up.

This time around it takes both hands to count her roster players!

Her first year was an exercise in minimalism as she had, at best, six players and most of the time five. That doesn’t leave much “wiggle room.”

DeNeve also has a majority of upperclassmen as well. Rachelle Cox, Sky Keeling, Jaelyn Marley and Ava Stephens all saw plenty of playing time last year and will be counted on to lead the ladies this year.

Catherine Harris, Angel Leach, Cadence Mescher and Cadence Sharp will be in the scramble for playing time. Cox and Stephens figure to do the bulk of the scoring, with Stephens doing most of the ball-handling.

Marley and Keeling give the Lady Rangers some size under the bucket, and DeNeve is in the process of fitting the remaining pieces into the puzzle.

Last year that wasn’t a problem at all, but it’s an issue DeNeve and the Lady Rangers welcome this year.

The Lady Rangers started their season on Nov. 16 in Meridian’s Lady Bobcat Classic against Century.

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