The White Pine High School Ladycat basketball team showed that they were a force to be reckoned with under the hoop last season. With Debra Kingston dominating in the paint in conference games, the Ladycats entered into the postseason feeling like they could go far. After a disappointing 49-37 loss to Pershing County in the first round those feelings were put on hold.

According to Kingston, though, they never truly went away. Instead, she worked on her game during the offseason and stayed in shape, starting for a Ladycat volleyball team that went all the way to state finals. To Kingston, this season is going to be about making sure she does her part to get open to create more explosive plays in the paint.

“We are supposed to be the biggest players on the court so we might as well do our job and get open for our guards, that way we can get more shot opportunities,” Kingston said.

Head coach Krystal Smith said that she is relying on Kingston to be a leader on the team this year. Having lost most of her taller players, Kingston’s experience and size will come in handy more than ever on the smaller but quicker team. That being said, being small does have it’s advantages the coach said.

“We’re pretty fast and pretty athletic,” Smith said. “In past years we’ve had more bigs than guards and this year we are pretty guard heavy. So I’m really excited to see that speed and see our guards get after people defensively.”

It’s going to be a while before there is a Ladycat player without the name Kingston on the back. In addition to the returning junior, her little sister Britney Kingston is also going to be seeing some time on the hardwood as well. Debra Kingston said that she has taken her sister, and her other freshman friends under her wing to show them the ropes.

“My sister is a freshman and she has a lot of friends joining the junior varsity team so I hang out with them a lot so I can direct them and guide them so that they can get better,” Kingston said.

That is the kind of leadership coach Smith said that she will be looking for from both Debra Kingston and her other returning big, Emily Bischoff.

“It is great to have two returning bigs in the post with Debra and Emily. they are upperclassmen now and they have been on varsity since they were freshmen so those two alone will hold their own in the post for us,” Smith said.

The new team will get their first game-time experience playing together over the weekend when they travel to Hawthorne to compete in the preseason Serpent Classic Tournament on Dec. 5.