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Mann, Lady Airedales keeping busy 6/9/22

Mann, Lady Airedales keeping busy

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


One day next winter, when the chill of the January frost hits you in the face while boarding the bus for a conference game, Alma girls basketball coach Codey Mann may reflect on a warm summer afternoon in Paris. 


Wins and losses aren't necessarily born in January and February. 


The Lady Airedales have enjoyed an active June - with more games on the horizon. The team competed this week in Paris. 


“You try to get in what amounts to a season (worth of games),” Mann said. “Summer’s about figuring out who you are and what you need to do during game situations. We’ve played nine games this summer, and I think we’ve gotten better in each game. 


“We’ve gotten to see a lot of different stuff, offensively and defensively, so that’s helping us out and making us better.”



Alma will look a little different in 2022-23. Senior stalwarts Kenzie Rushing and Halyn Carmack both graduated. Junior Samantha Crook decided to forgo her senior season to concentrate on volleyball and other activities. 


Alma will return Presli Taylor, Lydia Mann, and Kiara Owens. 


The Lady Airedales also roster a stable of talented juniors, including Lanie Moore, Anna Dunaway, and Makinley McCartt. 


“We’ve definitely got some kids who have stepped up,” Mann said. “We’re going to play kids; they’ve just got to go get it.”


The Lady Airedales competed at Paris this week. “We were a little slow to start,” Mann said. “We got down 12-0 but battled back. I think they were a little tired from playing over the weekend.”


Next week, Alma will compete against a select number of teams at Northside. 


On June 21, Alma heads to Pottsville to face Hot Springs Lakeside, Clinton, and Pottsville. 


In July, following the two-week dead period, Alma travels to Vilonia, and then on July 28 will be at UALR (University of Arkansas-Little Rock). 


“We’re trying to get in a lot of practice with shooting and playing defense,” Mann said. “We know who we are. (But) we have some spots to fill.”


Along with Owens, Taylor, and Mann, the Lady Airedales will have sophomore twins Jaden and Jordan Gramlich. Seniors Magen Sharp and Halena Dugger had good summers, Mann said. 


“Magan and Halena have played well,” Mann said. “You know what you’re getting from Presli. I tell you, Keke (Kiara Owens) gives us something we haven’t had … quickness at the point. She’s so smooth.”