Star sophomores Chloe Clardy, Savannah Scott make Conway a team to watch in Arkansas girls basketball

Over the next few weeks, SBLive Arkansas will break down every 6A boys and girls basketball team in the state entering the 2020-21 season. Here’s our look at the Conway Wampus Cats girls.

CONWAY TEAM PAGE | 2020-21 SCHEDULE

HEAD COACH

Ashley Hutchcraft, 11th season

2019-20 AT A GLANCE

Overall record: 22-8

Conference record: 10-4 (tied for second place in 6A Central)

Playoffs: Lost in semifinals

ALL-STATE PLAYERS DEPARTED

G Jadah Pickens

PLAYERS TO WATCH

G Chloe Clardy, so., 5-9

One of the nation’s top-ranked sophomores, Clardy is an athletic guard who can get to the rim with ease. She averaged 24 points, seven rebounds, six assists and 3.5 steals per game as a freshman for a team that reached the state semifinals. “She will lead our team on and off the floor,” Hutchcraft said. 

F Savannah Scott, so., 6-4

Scott is another sophomore standout who gives the Wampus Cats a strong, physical presence on both ends of the court. She holds multiple Division I scholarship offers. “We expect her to be a difference-maker for us in the paint,” Hutchcraft said.

G Jaiden Thomas, jr., 5-10

Thomas, another Division I prospect, is entering her third season as a starter for Conway. Before going down with an ankle injury, she was averaging 16 points, nine rebounds and three assists per game as a sophomore. “She is the most experienced player on the team and we will rely on that experience throughout the season,” Hutchcraft said.

OUTLOOK

The Wampus Cats are one of the youngest teams in the 6A Central with just two seniors on the roster, but the team’s talent is off the charts. Clardy, Scott and Thomas are returning starters who hold Division I offers, and there is plenty of depth behind them.

“We are a young team and we start three sophomores and two juniors,” Hutchcraft said. “So, inexperience will be an issue for us early, but we have a balanced approach with good guard and post play.” 

Along with their three returning starters, 6-foot senior forward Haylee Malcum also played big minutes a season ago as Conway’s top reserve. Malcum is difficult to guard with solid size and a quality outside shot. She also is strong in transition.

“We prefer an up-tempo style of play,” Hutchcraft said. “We pride ourselves in being physical and playing hard for four quarters.”

Conway shared second place in the 6A Central last season and earned a first-round state tournament bye. The Wampus Cats won their quarterfinal game against Har-Ber before falling to Bentonville, finishing the season 22-8 despite missing Thomas for the final two months.

With Clardy, Scott and Thomas healthy, Conway should have an excellent chance of being right back in the Final Four.

COACH SAID 

“If we stay healthy, we expect to compete within our conference and during the state playoffs.” — Ashley Hutchcraft

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