The youth movement on the Lady Pioneer high school basketball team received recognition this week from coaches in District 6-AAA.
Coaches from the district voted Sable Winfree Freshman of the Year, and Kyra Perkins was named to the All-Defensive Team. Both Winfree and Perkins were honorable mentions for All-District.
Winfree won Cookeville’s Lady Cavalier head coach Jamie Gillies’ vote during the Lady Pioneers final game against Cookeville at the Dalt.
Gillies, who was voted co-Coach of the Year in the district, stated, “That freshman was a difference maker. I have told coach Lippe that she has my vote for freshman of the year in the district.”
Winfree finished with an average of 8.4 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game. She dished out 50 assists and made 49 steals.
Ann Eades, former head coach and legendary player for the Lady Pioneers has followed Lady Pioneer home games on YouTube. Eades said, “Winfree has handled herself well as a freshman. That position is huge for any team. This experience will pay dividends for her career down the road. She is gutsy.”
Betty Wood, another legendary Lady Pioneer basketball player, complimented Winfree as well. Wood said, “She knows what to do with the ball and she drives to the basket well. She is a good ball-handler and she is tough.”
Lady Pioneer head coach Anthony Lippe said, “Any time you can get an award in the 6-AAA District that we are in, it is a big accomplishment. I know her teammates are excited for her and we are excited for her. We look forward to good things happening throughout her career.”
Sable Winfree was excited to win the award. “I didn’t expect it, but I was hoping to get something in the district.”
Winfree is a hard worker and the award should be a big boost for the freshman.
Sophomore Kyra Perkins has shown exceptional ability on both offense and defense. Perkins recently led the team in scoring with 23 points in the regular-season finale.
Perkins often makes steals and goes the length of the floor and scores. She is an excellent ball-handler and passer as well.
Perkins finished the regular season averaging 7.2 points per game and 2.6 rebounds. She finished with 41 steals for the season.
Perkins comes in off the bench. She provides instant energy when she enters a game. What distinguishes Perkins is her exceptional ability to disrupt the other team’s offense with her quickness and hustle. She is also very effective in the full-court press.
Coach Lippe pointed out the following, “There were only five All-District defensive players. That is quite an honor.” Tessa Miller of Stone Memorial was Defensive Player of the Year, and the top five votes for defensive player went to Perkins and four other players from White County, Cookeville, and Stone Memorial. Interesting to note that White County, Cookeville, and Stone Memorial all tied for first place in the district with 6-2 records.
Defense may not show up often in highlight films, but defense is clearly a part of successful teams. Kyra Perkins has been an important contributor this season.