CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- After making the semifinals of the State Tournament the last two years and three times since he took over the George Washington girls basketball program in 2004, Jamie LaMaster feels like this is a make-it-or-break-it year for his Patriots.
"We return seven players including three starters," LaMaster said. "This is the most four-year seniors I've ever had."
Those are shooting guard Rachel Ward, post players Eva Roberts and Leslie Gilmore and guard Kayla Stewart. Ward is also one of the trio of starters returning from last season's 17-10 team that sputtered mid-season but took off down the stretch.
The other starters back are junior post player Kelli Harrison and sophomore point guard Alana Mobayed.
"Of course, we lost a big inside presence in Alexa Peoples," LaMaster said. "And we lost Adrian Cunningham, who did a little bit of everything."
Peoples led the squad averaging 14.1 points and 9.2 rebounds.
A Class AA All-State player at Poca, Cunningham transferred to GW when the Dots program folded in December. She averaged 9.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 3.2 steals during her time with the Patriots.
LaMaster, though, prefers to look ahead.
"Consistency is what I am looking for now," he said. "Of course we would like to take it one step further and play on Saturday night this year."
The 6-foot Harrison will be expected to take over much of the scoring and rebounding load inside after averaging 12 points and eight rebounds a year ago. Ward averaged 12.8 points and 2.3 assists last season, while Mobayed averaged 5.3 points and 3.6 assists.