The Transylvania Times -

2017 Basketball Preview: Galloway Bringing New Style To Lady Tigers' Basketball - Rosman, NC

 

December 11, 2017

Courtesy Photo

The 2017 Rosman High School girls' basketball team.

After winning as many games through the first two weeks of the 2017 season as they did during their entire 2016 campaign, there is plenty of reason for optimism surrounding the Rosman Lady Tiger basketball team.

Rosman's record thro- ugh three games is 2-1, a win total the team did not reach until the end of January last year.

The lineup is very much the same from last season, as the Lady Tigers only had three departing seniors, but the style of play has changed thanks to Rosman boys' coach Josh Galloway taking over double-duty as the girls' head coach.

Much like he does with the boys' team, Galloway prefers a fast-tempo game predicated by a press defense and transition points.

Galloway said the biggest adjustment he had to make as a coach was adapting his style to the speed of his players and teaching them a new defensive system.

"I've been pleased with what I've seen. The girls don't play at the same speed as the boys, but they play with a speed that's comparable to their competition. They've adapted well and we've got girls that are looking to take scoring opportunities in transition, which is really the focal point of the strategy," he said.

So far, things seem to be working out as Rosman has increased their average number of steals (7.3) and rebounds (23) per game over last season.

They have also increased their offensive efficiency, reducing their number of turnovers by four per game.

The catalyst for the Lady Tiger offense is junior Gracy Briggs.

Last season, Briggs averaged just shy of 12 points per game, despite missing roughly a third of the season with a hand injury.

This year, she's gotten off to a fast start, scoring in double digits in all three games so far and averaging 15.3 points per game.

Galloway said Briggs' offensive prowess is similar to what Deland Thomas brings to the boys' team and likes her ability to score in several ways.

"Gracy has phenonemal basketball skills and I'm excited because she's bought into what we're trying to do. She has the ability to score outside and inside and she's in great shape going into the season and should be able to play a lot of minutes," Galloway said.

Having Briggs miss eight games last season put Rosman in a lurch, as they didn't have as much depth to fall back on.

So far this year, Rosman is getting production from several players.

Briggs has been aided by fellow guards Ashlyn Dodson and Maggi Galloway.

Dodson is in her second year as a varsity player after manning the point guard position for most of last year.

She finished second on the team in scoring last season and is on pace to maintain that position, as she's averaging 8.7 points per game so far in 2017.

"I've been really pleased with her ability at the point guard position. When you run a fast-tempo pace, there's a lot of pressure on the point guard to make decisions and make decisions quickly, and she's done an excellent job of seeing the floor and putting the other girls in prime scoring opportunities," Galloway said.

Galloway is the lone freshman on Rosman's roster, but is already making her presence known on the floor.

She's currently fourth on the team in scoring with 6.7 points per game, but has a team-high 13 steals.

She is also tied for the team lead with seven assists and is second with 16 rebounds.

Galloway said Maggi is one of the best athletes on the team and is excited to see her progression throughout the season.

Some other key players returning for the Lady Tigers include Christa Galloway, Kaitlin Connor and Korinne Hawk.

Galloway has nearly doubled her scoring output so far this season, averaging seven points per game.

She is also third on the team with 12 rebounds.

Connor is leading the team in rebounds this year with 20, including a team-high eight offensive boards.

Galloway said both are solid post players and have a good mid-range jump shot, as well as collect rebounds.

Hawk is fourth on the team in rebounding, while Ragan McCall rounds out the top five in scoring.

Galloway said Hawk improved her strength over the offseason and McCall coming off the bench provides some depth at the post position that teams in the past didn't have.

Last year, the Lady Tigers finished 2-22, but prior to that, Rosman enjoyed six straight winning seasons.

Competition in the Smoky Mountain Conference is always stiff for girls' basketball, but Galloway likes his teams odds against competing among some of the top teams in the SMC.

"Murphy has a good core of players and has good size, so they'll be strong. Cherokee has great outside shooters. Robbinsville will be tough competition. But I think we'll surprise some teams in conference and pose some problems. We're not a traditional team and that's going to shake to some people up," Galloway said.

 
 

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