Drawing a foul

Albertville’s Landon Phillips draws a foul from Asbury’s Yvonne Hernandez during a June 8 varsity play date game at Albertville Gymnasium. Holly Brinley is Asbury’s other defender. Phillips moved up from the Aggies’ junior varsity.

The Albertville varsity girls basketball team tipped off its summer play-date schedule last week with two games at Hartselle on June 5 and three games at Albertville Gymnasium on June 8.

Albertville met Locust Fork, Oak Mountain and Sylvania in a play date at Snead State on Tuesday. The Aggies travel to DAR on Thursday and return home Friday to host a varsity and junior varsity play date.

“We have a couple of new ones and we’re trying to get them acclimated to varsity play,” Albertville head coach Matt Nelson said of his roster.

“We’re doing a couple of things different than we did in the regular season, putting more emphasis on pushing the ball up the floor and playing a lot of man-to-man defense.”

The returning players from the Aggies’ 2018 Marshall County Tournament championship squad are Hannah Lightsey, Hannah Sanders, Grace Kelley, Savannah Rutledge, Jayden Watkins, Kayla Marks and Mcall Roe.

Their newcomers are Makayla Phillips, Sarah Rutledge, Landon Phillips and Kyndra Harraid.

“Makayla makes a big difference. She’s playing well,” Nelson said.

On Friday, the Aggies’ first game is against reigning Class 3A state champion Pisgah. Auburn commitment and state tournament most valuable player Annie Hughes leads the Eagles.

“Playing Pisgah will be tough,” Nelson said. “Throw the classifications out for that.

“Class 3A is really strong. We played Glencoe [June 8] and they’re a tough team. Susan Moore is a really good team. Susan Moore will go a long way in 3A.”

Albertville also clashed with Susan Moore on June 8.

“Me and Coach [Jeanne] Rains are really excited about them,” Nelson said. “These next two weeks we’re going to play a lot of basketball. With this many returning players, we want to play as much as we can.”

Albertville returns to Hartselle for a pair of games next week. The Aggies wrap up their play-date schedule at Birmingham-Southern.

Rains serves as varsity assistant coach. J.D. Cotten is Albertville’s JV coach.

At Albertville Middle School, Emily Jackson is head coach of the seventh-grade girls team. Her husband, Matt, assists her.

Lauren Wood is head coach of the eighth-grade girls squad. Katie Battles serves as assistant coach.

“We’re excited program-wide,” Nelson said. “I’ve been watching the middle school. We’re excited about what’s coming up [to the JV and varsity].”

Albertville won the varsity, JV, seventh-grade and eighth-grade county titles in the 2017-18 season.

The schedule for Friday’s play date at Albertville is:

Competition gym

Varsity

9 a.m., Guntersville vs. Chelsea

9:50 a.m., Albertville vs. Pisgah

10:40 a.m., Alexandria vs. DAR

11:30 a.m., Albertville vs. Chelsea

12:20 p.m., Guntersville vs. Alexandria

1:10 p.m., DAR vs. Pisgah

2 p.m., Guntersville vs. Pisgah

2:50 p.m., Albertville vs. Alexandria

3:40 p.m., Chelsea vs. DAR

Auxiliary gym

Junior varsity

9 a.m., Albertville vs. Pisgah

9:50 a.m., Alexandria vs. DAR

10:40 a.m., Guntersville vs. Chelsea

11:30 a.m., Albertville vs. Alexandria

12:20 p.m., Pisgah vs. DAR

1:10 p.m., Chelsea vs. Alexandria

2 p.m., Guntersville vs. Pisgah

2:50 p.m., Albertville vs. Chelsea

3:40 p.m., Guntersville vs. DAR

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