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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Lady Ramblers young, but talented

  • Rose Bud Coach Mandy Goodwin has led the Lady Ramblers to the regional tournament in each of her 12 seasons at the school. Rose Bud advanced to the 3A state tournament four times under her watch, including two appearances in the quarterfinals.
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  • Rose Bud Coach Mandy Goodwin has led the Lady Ramblers to the regional tournament in each of her 12 seasons at the school. Rose Bud advanced to the 3A state tournament four times under her watch, including two appearances in the quarterfinals.
    Entering her 13th season, Goodwin has the task of molding a nine-player rotation that features five underclassmen – including three freshmen ¬ into a postseason contender.
    Sophomores Carissa Caples and Trina Allen combined with freshmen Kaitlyn Smith, Savannah Lacy and Jenna Hipp to lead Rose Bud’s junior high team to a 2-3A Conference championship, finishing with an overall record of 21-2 last season.
    Nikkie Rece, who Goodwin said is one of the Lady Ramblers’ top outside shooters along with Caples, Smith and Lacy – is the lone senior expected to receive significant playing time.
    “We are really young,” said Goodwin. “I’ve moved up three ninth-graders that are all guards and we have two sophomores that are going to help so hopefully they will get the experience along the way. We want to be the best team we can be. I don’t want to use experience as an excuse. They know how to play the game. It’s going to be an adjustment to senior high and how they can get stronger and adjust to the speed of the game.”
    Juniors Raven Ide, Allie Banks and Paige Passmore provide senior high game experience in the paint with Allen serving as a viable post player off the bench.
    “We’ve got inside-outside this year. We’ve got height and I really feel good about us being well-rounded. Our guards aren’t small this year. Those guards that have moved up can shoot and they are taller than what we had last year so that will help on the boards. It should be an interesting year,” added Goodwin.
    Although young, Goodwin is excited about what this group has to offer. “They play well together. They are very unselfish and I think they shoot the ball well. We’ve got guards, we have shooters, we have post players and we have ball handlers.”
    Rose Bud’s youthful team has gained experience over the summer at numerous camps, including Arkansas Tech, this week at Heber Springs and one they hosted.
    “The progress has been astounding just to get the younger kids experience against senior high teams. We’ve played Russellville and that was really good for us just going against those bigger bodies, bigger guards,” said Goodwin.
    Former 2A-2 power Cedar Ridge moves into Rose Bud’s conference along with Marianna-Lee. Riverview, which returns its entire starting lineup from a team that made the state semifinals, moved up into Heber’s conference.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We lose Riverview so that helps. Cedar Ridge is traditionally pretty salty and Harding Academy still has Riley [Rose] so they are going to be one of the top ones. Bald Knob beat us in the [junior high] district finals so they are going to be pretty good. I feel good about us being a two or three [seed] going to district. I like our chances of making it to regionals for sure,” concluded Goodwin.

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