“A big year of change.”
So said Northside High School Athletics Director Kevin Kinsler of the Lady Eagles’ 2016-2017 basketball season.
He was referring mainly to Casaundra Wilson – a coach he said had done a “legendary job” – stepping down and Ashleigh Fox taking over – she in turn leading the team to a 17-10 record and the Region 1-AAAAAA championship – and all of the changes that came with those two moves.
Next year will see the same – changes.
In particular for Fox, it will be how to replace two of her top scorers, Alexia Galloway and Jaliyah Lynch. Galloway is headed to Brewton Parker College in Mount Vernon and Lynch is staying closer at home and going to Middle Georgia State University in Cochran. Both signed at a ceremony at Northside Thursday.
“Alexia is one of those I saw before getting here at Northside (she echoed that of Lynch),” Fox said of her coaching/teaching time at Jones County. “I was excited to be able to work with her because she gets after it, but also because she’s a great sport as well.
“She’s aggressive. She goes to the rim. She shoots the three-ball. Needless to say I’m going to miss her.”
Galloway did see her season cut short due to a partial PCL tear, but Fox said she did what she needed to do – therapy, etc – in order to get to the point where she could play college ball. (She also still did average 13.2 points per game despite the injury.)
“So I commend her for sticking with it to see her dream through she had originally.”
Galloway said she chose Brewton Parker – a number of schools recruited her – because of, among other things, the campus, the coach and his coaching style.
She said she planned on majoring in physical therapy – even liked the idea of coming back to Northside as a coach one day. She is also actually following in her mom’s footsteps, as she played basketball and at the professional level.
“I thought after she started making me play,” the younger one said of mom, “I started liking it, too. I just love playing. It just comes natural to me.”
Of Lynch, who averaged 7.9 points per game, Fox said: “You know three-point shooters. When she gets hot, she’s hot.”
She added that for a time Lynch, who also played softball and will continue to do so for the Knights, Fox said, was unsure if she would continue her education after graduation, but, “I want to say I’m very pleased she chose to continue her career in athletics. I know she’ll do exceptionally well if she continues to work hard.”