(Ellington) The Ellington Whippets girls basketball team has been on one of its best runs in program history, winning 40 games over the past two seasons with a 21-5 district runner-up campaign last year.

A new head coach now leads the program with Paula King moving into an assistant role in addition to being the Southern Reynolds R2 school district superintendent.

The Whippets’ new head coach is David Burrows who has been coaching basketball for well over a decade.

He has a pair of state championships under his belt from his time coaching at East Poinsett County in Arkansas and had been the head coach of the Lesterville girls basketball team for five seasons throughout the 2010s with a pitstop in Ellington during the 2015-16 season.

Burrows says he is excited to be back and says his team has been hard at work preparing this summer.

Ellington graduated standout center Gracie Price from last year’s team and also lost Tyler Conkright to a transfer to North County.

Aside from that, everyone else is back from last year’s 20-win, district runner-up.

Most notable for the Whippets is the return of sophomore Kaylee King, who was the lone freshman to make the Dream Team last year after averaging 20 points, four assists, and two and a half steals per game.

The rest of the roster has plenty of talent as well with three juniors – Laura Gore, Gretchen Hackworth, and Abbi Harper – four other sophomores – Briley Bouma, Ella Morton, Shemaine Lovell, and Lyndy Nash – and a pair of freshman – Dylan Price and Sadie Lloyd.

Burrows says with so much talent back, he wants his team to set their goals as high as possible.

The hope across the board is that teams are able to get in a full season amid the ongoing pandemic.

Burrows says they have already dealt with some of that adversity, but he believes his girls now understand the discipline that will be required to stay on the court.

The Whippets are already (2-0) on the season after earning victories over Mt. Grove Christian and Van Buren at the Van Buren Lady Dawg Classic.

Ellington is preparing to compete in the championship of the Lady Dawg Classic tonight when they take on the Twin Rivers Royals.

Full Interview with David Burrows: