By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
A chance to move closer to home has helped convince Brad Phillips to resign as girls basketball coach at Washburn Southwest High School.
Phillips said Monday he was hired last Thursday as girls basketball coach at Class 2 South Pemiscot of Steele, Mo.
“You hate to leave after one year,” Phillips said. “But this is an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.”
Phillips said his parents live in Pocahontas, Ark., some 1 1/2 hours from Steele.
Plus, Phillips said, South Pemiscot is expected to return considerable talent from a winning 2012-13 edition.
That talent includes all-state senior point guard Carrie Shephard, Phillips said. Shepherd eclipsed 1,000 career points during her sophomore season.
The 2011-12 Bulldogs, 16-11, lost 48-42 to New Haven at Dexter in the quarterfinals of the Class 2 playoffs. The Bulldogs compete in the Bootheel Conference.
“Shephard missed the last four games this past season because of an injury,” Phillips said. “We understand she’s playing well this summer. We hear, too, that South Pemiscot has a good sophomore class.”
Phillips was named the Ozark 7 Conference coach of the year at Class 3 Southwest after marks of 24-4 overall and 5-0 in the league. The Trojans also won the Blue Eye and Rogersville tournaments and placed third in the Walnut Grove Classic with their loss to eventual Class 1 champion Walnut Grove.
Southwest, seeded fourth, lost 67-43 to favored Ash Grove in the semifinals of the District 12 Tournament at Seneca.
“Obviously, we had a great group of girls at Southwest,” Phillips said. “Southwest is scheduled to return four all-conference players in Nicole Ickes, Montana Hendrix, Shannon Mitchell and Jaime Shrum.”
The rumor mill has one of those players transferring, however.
Phillips, a 1993 graduate of Maynard (Ark.) High School, received his undergraduate degree from Williams Baptist of Walnut Ridge, Ark. He has a master’s degree from Emporia (Kan.) State.