Kallie Herring, going up for a shot against Madison County last year, is Suwannee's top returning scorer.

LIVE OAK — Fresh off its first winning season since 2010, the Suwannee girls basketball team looks to continue to build around Kallie Herring.

Herring was the leading scorer and top rebounder a year ago for the Bulldogs, who finished 13-12 before falling to Godby in a district semifinal.

Over the summer Herring developed another offensive threat, the 3-point shot, coach Brian Bullock said, also calling her “very active on the defensive side of the ball, and led the team in steals with 60.

“She loves to have the ball in her hands. She’s a shooter and drives (to the net). She can score from mid-range to inside. She also does a good job of getting to the foul line.”

Bullock said SHS will be “very athletic,” and the offense will adjust to what’s happening on court, while on defense, the Bulldogs will use man-to-man with some zone.

“We could most likely be a team that will score a lot of points in transition, and off turnovers. At times our defense could be our best offense. Also, as the year goes along they will develop into a team that will score well in the half court offensively,” Bullock said. “This team will need to work on taking care of the basketball and scoring more efficiently in the half court.”

Bullock noted Janyah Alicea, Savannah Shannon, Gorjus Ward and Montayasia Jones are players expected to replace the departing players, which include Jade Jones and Summer Thomas — the team’s second and third leading scorers a year ago — and he wants to program to continue to improve offensively and defensively.

“I want this team to bring the energy and play hard for each other,” Bullock said. “If they can do that, there is no doubt we will be able to achieve the success we want to have.”

Bullock said Alicea led the team in scoring at summer league. Shannon, now a senior, has been with the program since she was a freshman and Bullock wants her to become more of a scoring threat.

“Alicia is as tough as nails as a leader by example,” Bullock said. “She has grown a lot from a season ago and she’s one of our best defensive players, and will be a better scorer for us this season.”

Bullock said Ward, a sophomore, will be needed on offense and defense and Montayasia Jones needs to be more of an inside presence.

“(Jones) was our leader in blocked shots last year, and had a few games where she recorded a double-double,” Bullock said. “She will have to become more of a scoring threat for us inside to recover from the loss of Jones.”

Jeff Shourds is a sports writer for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press.

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