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DRIVE — Tuscola’s Gracie “John” Glance looks to drive the lane against North Buncombe last season. Glance will be among this year’s likely returning starters.

Girls basketball for Tuscola High School will begin on Jan. 4. Aside from starting another season, not much else will feel familiar.

Starting her first year as head coach, Katelyn Maynard, who is a Tuscola High graduate herself, will lead the team into uncharted waters.

One of the major changes that will look familiar to many these days is that players, coaches and officials are required to wear masks during practices and games alike.

One of the benefits of the mask protocol will be the addition of a one-minute mask break at the 4-minute mark in each quarter. This will undoubtedly help Coach Maynard as she settles into life as a coach with the Mountaineers.

Another change for the girls basketball program at Tuscola is the addition of the junior varsity team. Athletic Director Michael Belue was excited to bring back this team to the athletic program.

“Maynard has done a great job helping to get this team back on its feet,” Belue said. “We are excited to see so many young women out there playing basketball again this year and think it bodes well for the future.”

The return of the basketball season will be a boost for the whole community as many have missed seeing sports this fall. The Mountaineers’ scrimmage on Monday against Pisgah High already has more than 2,000 views on the Tuscola Athletics YouTube page.

However this season turns out, the return to playing sports is sure to please athletes and community members alike.

All games will be live-streamed on the Tuscola Athletics YouTube page. That means all can tune in and support Maynard as she leads the women’s basketball teams in this unprecedented season.

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