Members of the Massac County High School Lady Patriots basketball team for 2021-22 are, from left, (seated) manager Grace Willis, manager Dorian Sparks; (middle) Brooklynn Burnett, Alysa Browning, Sophie Bormann, Mackiah Cox, Jada Tolbert, Addie Gower, Kaity Holley, Olivia Farmer, Olivia Myrick, Libby Conkle, Monique Hart, Jordan Hansen, Celeigh Culver, Elise Coakley; (back) head coach Justin Kindle, assistant coach Keith Shelton and assistant coach Rachel Coakley

Massac County High School Lady Patriots’ basketball coach Justin Kindle has a lot to smile about these days. He’s also got some things to puzzle over.

Kindle has a large group of athletic youngsters with the emphasis on young — meaning no seniors — and he’s realistic about the early part of the season.

“We may have to take our lumps for a while, but this group has proven they have the talent and the desire. We’ll figure things out,” he said.

Kindle has a handful of mainstays from last year, and they will be asked to step up more this year. Sophie Bormann, Elise Coakley, Libby Conkle and Adalyn Gower all will be asked to shoulder a little more of the load when the season opens. Monique Hart is recovered from knee surgery last year and will no doubt be asked to contribute at a high level.

Gone from the ranks are Farrah Castleman, McKinnley Korte and Kendra Waldon. It appears that three or four spots are pretty secure at this time, but ferreting out a workable rotation is the next order of business for Kindle and his staff.

There are a lot of choices for Kindle to peruse with a good looking freshman class coming in, and, they will no doubt get their chances. It may take a while for this group to gel, and, like in all sports, they have to stay healthy, but when they figure it out they’re going to be fun to watch for a while.

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