The Webb School of Knoxville (Tenn.) girls basketball team has reached the Division II-AA state championship game in each of the last two seasons, and 11th-year coach Shelley Collier believes her team can get there again this season.

The Webb School of Knoxville (Tenn.) girls basketball team has reached the Division II-AA state championship game in each of the last two seasons, and 11th-year coach Shelley Collier believes her team can get there again this season.

"That's their goal," Collier said. "They want to win the championship. I think we're capable of doing it, but right now we have a lot of room for improvement. Hopefully we'll continue to work on the things we need to work on and keep improving."

The Spartans won the state championship in 2007 but had to settle for second last season as they lost to Nashville Ensworth 53-51 in the final to finish 25-5. The sting of the loss to Ensworth lingers.

"We beat them by 15, 16 points (earlier in the season)," Collier said. "We should have won. We just didn't play well."

Webb, which will face Kettering Fairmont in its opener in the Kroger Holiday Classic, entered this season having to replace 6-foot-3 post player Glory Johnson, a two-time Miss Basketball in Tennessee and a high school All-American.

Johnson now is playing at Tennessee under Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in NCAA women's basketball.

Fortunately for Collier, the Spartans have two other Division I recruits in 6-3 senior post player Faith Dupree, who will follow Johnson to Tennessee, and 5-7 senior point guard Jessica Goswitz, who has signed with Rice.

"They're called upon to be our two most productive players," Collier said.

Dupree averaged 14.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.7 blocks last season and was averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds through seven games this season.

"Faith is a very skilled offensive player," said Collier, whose team was 7-1 after beating Nashville Father Ryan 66-32 on Dec. 12. "She's very versatile. She can play with her back to the basket and she can step outside and hit the 3 (point shot). She has good range and she's very mobile. She's a very special young lady. It's always been a dream of hers to play at Tennessee. I'm happy that she's getting that opportunity."

Goswitz, a fourth-year starter, was averaging 11 points, five assists and three steals through seven games.

"She goes all out on the court," Collier said. "She gives 110 percent on both ends of the floor. She runs our team. She sees the floor well and gets the ball to where it needs to be. She delivers the mail, so to speak."

Other regular starters for Webb are 5-7 senior guard Lynae Berry and 5-8 freshman wing player Marjorie Butler. Splitting time in the final starting spot are Rebecca Peterson, a 5-8 sophomore wing player, and Sarah DeBusk, a 5-10 sophomore forward.

Other key contributors are 5-6 freshman guard Kelsey Brown, 5-7 freshman wing player Anna Hurdle and 5-7 freshman wing player Jane Romano.

"We have three seniors, but we're still pretty young," Collier said. "We have really good chemistry, but it still takes time to be clicking on all cylinders. We're still trying to get in the flow offensively and not turn the ball over as much, and we're trying to be diverse on defense.

"Obviously, we count on (Dupree and Goswitz), but we have to have other people step up and help them because we play one of the toughest schedules in the state of Tennessee, and every game a different player has been stepping up."