Local Products Lead Youth Movement at UAFS

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The UAFS women's basketball team has been knocking on the door all season long.

But Louis Whorton's team can't seem figure out how to knock that door down.

The Lady Lions have nine freshman on the roster, many of which log big minutes due to injuries and necessity.

"I think we’ve got the best group of freshman in the league and we obviously have the most experienced group of freshman in the league," Whorton said.

Two freshman who have helped carry the load for UAFS are from the area, one in which Whorton prides himself in recruiting.

Prairie Grove's Justyne Huber and Mountainburg's Maddy Backus not only lead the Lady Lions in nearly every category but the pair is helping turn things around.

"We’ve grown way more than I thought we would," Huber said. "We’ve done really well together. Our chemistry at first wasn’t there but then we started playing more and started building our chemistry throughout the year."

"At the beginning of the year we didn’t have as much chemistry because we were all new," Backus said. "We have kind of learned to play with each other so now we play a lot better."

Huber wasted little time adjusting to the college game as she leads UAFS with 11.5 points and just more than seven rebounds per game. The 6-foot-1 forward adds a different dimension to the Lady Lions and it's easy to figure out what her team thinks of her game.

"I heard a lot about her in high school, how good she was and I knew she was going to come in and work hard and when you work hard it just comes to her naturally because of her ability," Backus said of Huber.

"I think she’s going to be an all-conference player and certainly I think she’s the freshman of the year," Whorton said.

UAFS has dropped nine games by single digits this season. Teams in the Heartland Conference better enjoy the Lady Lions youth while they still can.