Several key components are missing from Frankfort High's girls basketball team this season, but the Lady Panthers aren't completely starting over.
Gone are former head coach Joey Thacker, now the girls basketball coach at Franklin County, starters Jackie Gordon, Alex Oder and Aisha Thomas and substitutes Tish Mulder and Jessica Tillman, who all graduated.
Nikki Smith is the new girls coach at FHS. Because she was hired after school started she's still getting to know her team, but she likes what she's seen so far.
"I'm just excited," Smith said. "These kids make coaching enjoyable. We have rough days in practice, but everyone has those. They're all good kids, and they work hard."
The Lady Panthers are learning to adjust to life without their former starters. Gordon led the team last year in scoring with 15 points per game and rebounds with 10.4 boards. She also led the county with 145 steals. Oder averaged 10.4 points and 5.4 rebounds a game.
"We've had to get them to the point they realize Jackie's not there anymore," Smith said. "They have to take responsibility and score, and I think it'll be more of a team effort. We don't have another Jackie, but as a team we're just as good."
Leading the way for FHS will be the three seniors - Brittany Wilson, Brittni Wilhoite and Rachel Yett.
"Our three seniors are all providing good leadership," Smith said. "I'm really pleased with those three. It's been hard on them. They've had three coaches in high school, and it's hard to adjust."
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