The list is long.
Jenna Babb. Macy Moran. Micah Ellegood. Heaven Hooper. Laken Sams. Taylor Carrico. Makena Edging. Mollie Henderson. Hannah Stephens. Kaitlyn Smith. Landry Crider. Alana Coffey. All key catalysts for Carlisle County over the last decade, which has inexplicably dominated by the Lady Comets for nine-straight First District titles.
So, with the graduation of All-Purchase guard Landry Crider and key contributors in Mollie Henderson and Lakin Garrett, can longtime skipper Ember Wright and her team make it 10 straight?
Spoiler: yeah. Yeah, they sure can.
Granted, it's not that simple. The target doesn't get any bigger than this, and Wright's going to have to rely on role players like Taylar Owens, Alexis Hall, Maddison Wright, Tristen Tyler and Kiera Whitaker to really provide a veteran lift after watching Henderson and Crider combine for nearly 30 ppg in 2018-19 and help the team to a 25-7 finish.
And while she feels like she's got depth and competition at multiple positions during the fall preparation, Wright attests the summer was a tough slog for her squad, and for reasons she can't quite pinpoint.
"The biggest challenge we faced in the offseason was numbers," she writes. "We were not sure if we would even have enough girls to play games this summer, and going into the season, we worried about having enough to scrimmage in practice.
"Having spoken with coaches and athletic directors across the region, we are not the only school having this problem. Girls basketball is seeing a big drop in numbers, and I am not sure why. The reason could be that it is a very demanding sport with a focus on practice, or it could be that with some sports going year-round that players are choosing to focus on one sport. This situation seems to be affecting the smaller schools the most."
Seeing as the First District is mostly comprised of smaller schools (Carlisle County, Hickman County, Fulton County, Fulton City), this could prove problematic.
For now, however, the Lady Comets seem to be in good spirits.
Lady Falcons lurking
If there's any team the most prepared to end Carlisle County's grip on the First District, it's Hickman County - which has done battle with the Lady Comets in the previous two championship matchups.
Third-year coach Shayne Midyett returns the massive bulk of his scoring and rebounding this season in Leigh Ann Jones (11.5 ppg), Akacia Taylor (10.2 ppg), Alexis Bartolo (8.4 ppg) and Rancey Skaggs (5.5 ppg).
Jones should be in line as leading scorer again, too, particularly because of her size and low-block acumen. She's approaching 1,000 career points, as well, in what would be a strong milestone for a strong preps career.
The question will be depth and defensive principles, in which Midyett says the team is still working on man-to-man defense.
"We're learning to play it," he said. "But we'll get better. Our goal is to improve every day, win the district tourney and hopefully make a run at the All 'A' Regional."
Look for South Fulton (Tennessee) transfer Baleigh Lester to give an immediate boost to the rotation.
Fulton County, City come calling
The Lady Pilots are coming off of a bit of heartache from last season, in which coach Leonard Smith and his seniors - Delaynee Cermak, Karlie Williams and Alaya Barnett - nearly helped pull the upset against Hickman County in the First District quarterfinals before eventually getting edged out, 46-40.
Cermak, Williams and Barnett also combined for more than 30 ppg last season, leaving a torrid amount of production available for Smith's next crew.
Is it going to come from lone senior, Nikia Smith? A pair of juniors in Callie Coulson and Brooklyn Chambers? Or will the Lady Pilots gravitate toward youth in a deep freshman class?
First-year coach Melissa Clark, meanwhile, takes over a Fulton City program that's on the other end of the spectrum - returning all but one of its players (Zakira Donald) from an 8-21 team that had a bit of scoring punch in Shammara Kinney (11.3 ppg, 9.4 rpg), Kyisha Everett (10.5ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Mia Martin (7.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg).
Nickname: Lady Comets
Coach: Ember Wright
2018-19 Record: 25-7
Key Losses: Landry Crider, Mollie Henderson, Lakin Garrett
Potential Starters: Taylar Owens, Alexis Hall, Maddison Wright, Tristen Tyler, Kierra Whitaker, Aubrey Wiley
Outlook: "Small goal this year is to teach the game! We are young and raw, with lots of room to improve. We may struggle early to learn our roles and to work as a team, but hopefully it will come together as the year progresses. Big goal: winning districts is always a goal, however, I feel that this year will be the hardest for us. Especially considering those we lost to graduation, and other teams in our district return most of their girls. I don't see us as the favorite this year, but I expect my girls to work hard all season and be ready to compete in February." - Ember Wright, Carlisle County
Carlisle County Girls Basketball
Dec 3 St. Mary away 6:15 PM
Dec 6 Paducah Tilghman home 6:00 PM
Dec 7 Community Christian (Paducah) home 4:45 PM
Dec 13 Hickman County away 6:15 PM
Dec 16 Livingston Central away 6:00 PM
Dec 17 Fulton City home 6:15 PM
Dec 20 Mayfield away 6:15 PM
Dec 26 TBA at Community Christian Academy Lady Warrior Christmas Tournament
Dec 27 TBA at Community Christian Academy Lady Warrior Christmas Tournament
Dec 28 TBA at Community Christian Academy Lady Warrior Christmas Tournament
Jan 7 Calloway County away 6:00 PM
Jan 10 Hickman County home 6:15 PM
Jan 11 TBA
Jan 24 Fulton County home 6:15 PM
Jan 25 Crittenden County home 3:15 PM
Jan 27 Mayfield home 7:15 PM
Jan 28 McCracken County away 6:00 PM
Feb 1 Ballard Memorial away 4:45 PM
Feb 4 Fulton County away 7:15 PM
Feb 7 Fulton City away 7:15 PM
Feb 8 Community Christian (Paducah) away 4:45 PM
Feb 10 Livingston Central home 6:00 PM
Feb 14 Ballard Memorial home 6:15 PM
Feb 17 Lyon County away 7:15 PM
Feb 20 Murray home 6:00 PM
Carlisle County Girls 2019-20 Roster
- Karlie Gibson Fr.
32 Elizabeth Gilbert F Jr.
35 Alexis Hall PF Jr.
33 Alexis Jones Fr.
3 Malle McGee Fr.
23 Taylar Owens G Sr.
14 Kolby Quillen SF So.
- Lilyan Shehorn So.
25 Tristan Tyler F So.
20 Kierra Whitaker 8th
10 Maddison Wright G So.
Nickname: Lady Bulldogs
Coach: Melissa Clark
2018-19 Record: 8-21
Key Losses: Zakira Donald
Potential Starters: Shammara Kinney, Kyisha Everett, Mia Martin
Fulton City Girls Basketball
Dec 3 Community Christian (Paducah) home 6:00 PM
Dec 7 Dawson Springs home 1:00 PM
Dec 17 Carlisle County away 6:15 PM
Jan 3 Fulton County home 6:00 PM
Jan 6 Christian Fellowship away 7:30 PM
Jan 24 Hickman County away 6:00 PM
Jan 31 Hickman County home 6:00 PM
Feb 7 Carlisle County home 7:15 PM
Feb 14 Fulton County away 6:00 PM
Feb 15 Community Christian (Paducah) away 5:00 PM
Feb 17 Paducah Tilghman away 7:30 PM
Feb 21 Christian Fellowship home 6:00 PM
Fulton City Girls 2019-20 Roster
- Kyisha Everett Jr.
5 Tanashia Ferrell G Jr.
3 Kreshauna Johnson G Jr.
20 Shammara Kinney F, G Jr.
- LaNya Llittleton Fr.
- TaJashia Macklin G 8th
23 Brittany Maclin G Fr.
54 Mia Martin F Fr.
4 Jasmine McCloyn G So.
11 CaTya McManus F Jr.
- Asianna Patton 8th
24 Jasmine Reeves Sr.
22 Takyra Taylor F So.
Nickname: Lady Pilots
Coach: Leonard Smith
2018-19 Record: 9-17
Key Losses: Delaynee Cermak, Karlie Williams, Alaya Barnett
Potential Starters: Callie Coulson, Rhiannon Eakes, Brooklyn Chambers
Fulton County Girls Basketball
Dec 3 Halls, TN home 6:00 PM
Dec 6 Christian Fellowship home 6:00 PM
Dec 10 Community Christian (Paducah) away 6:00 PM
Dec 13 Cairo, IL away 6:00 PM
Dec 17 Halls, TN away 6:00 PM
Dec 20 Humboldt, TN home 6:00 PM
Jan 3 Fulton City away 6:00 PM
Jan 4 Lake County (Tiptonville), TN home 6:00 PM
Jan 7 South Fulton, TN home 6:00 PM
Jan 9 St. Mary home 6:00 PM
Jan 10 TBA at Mayfield 1st Region All "A" Classic
Jan 21 Hickman County home 6:00 PM
Jan 24 Carlisle County away 6:15 PM
Jan 24 Community Christian (Paducah) home 6:00 PM
Jan 27 Cairo, IL home 6:00 PM
Jan 30 Ballard Memorial away 6:00 PM
Feb 3 Lake County (Tiptonville), TN away 6:00 PM
Feb 4 Carlisle County home 7:15 PM
Feb 7 Hickman County away 6:00 PM
Feb 11 Mayfield away 6:00 PM
Feb 14 Fulton City home 6:00 PM
Feb 17 Mayfield home 6:00 PM
Feb 20 Ballard Memorial home 6:00 PM
Fulton County Girls 2019-20 Roster
- Charmaine Buntyn So.
- Brooklyn Chambers Jr.
- Callie Coulson Jr.
- Kenzie Curry Fr.
- Rhiannon Eakes Fr.
- DeAyria Kinney So.
- TaKyiah McNeal So.
- Emily Scott Fr.
- McKenzie Smith Fr.
- Nikia Smith Sr.
Nickname: Lady Falcons
Coach: Shayne Midyett
2018-19 Record: 17-10
Key Losses: Kadey Wilkey, Jacey Rushing
Potential Starters: Leigh Ann Jones, Akacia Taylor, Rancey Skaggs, Alexis Bartolo
Hickman County Girls Basketball
Dec 2 Gleason, TN away 6:00 PM
Dec 6 St. Mary home 6:00 PM
Dec 10 Murray home 6:45 PM
Dec 13 Carlisle County home 6:15 PM
Dec 16 Community Christian (Paducah) away 6:00 PM
Dec 17 Ballard Memorial home 6:00 PM
Dec 19 Paducah Tilghman home 7:15 PM
Dec 26 Murray away 6:00 PM Murray Bank Lady Tiger Classic
Dec 27 Cooper at Murray 1:45 PM Murray Bank Lady Tiger Classic
Dec 28 TBA at Murray Murray Bank Lady Tiger Classic
Jan 10 Carlisle County away 6:15 PM
Jan 11 TBA at Mayfield 1st Region All "A" Classic
Jan 20 Paducah Tilghman away 7:30 PM
Jan 21 Fulton County away 6:00 PM
Jan 24 Fulton City home 6:00 PM
Jan 27 Community Christian (Paducah) home 6:00 PM
Jan 28 Ballard Memorial away 6:00 PM
Jan 31 Fulton City away 6:00 PM
Feb 1 Livingston Central away 4:00 PM
Feb 3 Marshall County home 7:30 PM
Feb 4 St. Mary away 7:00 PM
Feb 7 Fulton County home 6:00 PM
Feb 10 Lyon County away 7:00 PM
Feb 13 South Fulton, TN away 6:00 PM
Feb 14 Lake County (Tiptonville), TN away 6:00 PM
Feb 18 Livingston Central home 6:00 PM
Feb 21 Mayfield away 6:00 PM
Hickman County Girls 2019-20 Roster
14 Alexis Bartolo G Jr.
15 Bayleigh Basch G Fr.
44 Leigh Ann Jones C Sr.
- Baleigh Lester Jr.
2 Justice Midyett G 8th
- Brooklyn Naranjo 7th
- Dieneshia Sanders F 8th
30 Rancey Skaggs G So.
10 Akacia Taylor G Sr.
55 Desteny Wesley F Sr.
- McKenzie Wilber F Fr.