Bailie Roberts is going to be hard to guard.
The athletic, jump-shooting forward, who signed with Southeast Missouri State University on Wednesday, can score from just about anywhere, evidenced, in part, by an opening 3-pointer in a jamboree quarter with host Heritage on Monday. Strong off the dribble, Roberts can get to the basket by putting the ball on the floor. A quick leaper on rebounds, the Maryville leader is going to get her share on put backs, too.
“Obviously, we’re going to build around Bailie,” Maryville coach Kim Bledsoe said. “Bailie’s going to be the catalyst of everything we do.”
The Lady Rebels have other shooters, though. That’s a big part of why Roberts could prove such a tough matchup this season. Senior Mariah Lawrence and freshman Rebekah Singleton also knocked down 3s on Monday. Lawrence showed off a deadly, pull-up jumper from perimeter, with Singleton displaying the toughness to get to the basket in traffic.
“I think we’ve got a lot of other options,” Bledsoe said.
Around the basket, Torie Vaught will present a size problem for many Maryville opponents. The sophomore had a team-best six points as the Lady Rebels edged the Lady Mountaineers, 21-20, in 10 minutes of play.
“We’re going to be counting on a slight height advantage with Kylie and Torie,” Bledsoe said. “Many teams won’t have that height.”
Many also want have Maryville’s depth. Forwards Allie Porter-Garrett, Kylie Whaley and Macy Holt had two points each for the Lady Rebels on Monday. Over the course of four quarters, that can add up to a lot points and rebounds around the basket, deterring teams from focusing too much attention on the talented Roberts.
Junior Carrie Goodson and sophomore Alex Harrison will hopefully give the Lady Rebels the guard play out front to compensate for the loss of graduated senior Meredith Niethammer at the point.
Maryville played to a runner-up finish in last year’s district tournament. With height, guard play and a Division I forward as a nucleus this season, the Lady Rebels look to have everything it takes to secure the crown in 2008-09