Trojanettes started strong in early years of girls basketball


Members of the 1978 Cawood Trojanettes were honored after winning the first 13th Region Tournament title in county history.

Starting slow was a theme for sports teams when James A. Cawood High School opened in 1966. That wasn’t a problem, however, when girls basketball began around the state in the fall of 1974.
The Cawood Trojanettes started strong under the leadership of coach Basil Mills, becoming a 13th Region contender almost over night, then posted 15 straight winning seasons while winning seven of the first nine 52nd District Tournament titles and capturing the first 13th Region Tournament title for a Harlan County school in 1978. Cawood is still first in Harlan County history with 13 district championships.
Kim Kelley was the first county basketball star, playing on the first five JACHS teams. She led the Trojanettes to district titles in all four of her years of high school and helped the 1978 team advance to the Sweet Sixteen at Eastern Kentucky University. She became the first Trojanette all-stater as a senior in 1979 and the first to sign with.a Division I program in a four-year career at UNC-Charlotte.
“The team was good because the players on the first team knew the fundamentals of basketball,” she said. “They had either played in their backyards or in physical education at school. Everyone just had a feel for the game, and with Mr. Mills at the helm, the team took off. They had a great desire to win and a great work ethic.”
Marsha Tidwell and Annette Gooden were leaders on the early teams, then Kelley was joined by Kim Cromer, Joy Mills, Patty Tidwell, Lisa Vanover and Lynettte Lewis as the Trojanettes started their string of five straight district championships. Lewis went on to play at the University of Kentucky, eventually becoming a co-captain as a senior in 1984. Nikki Tidwell, Robin Middleton and Debbie Caldwell moved into the lineup with Kelley and Lewis in 1979 as Cawood made it back to the regional finals, but this time Clay County rallied to avenge a loss the previous season.
Jane Long became the first, and only, female coach for the Trojanettes as she replaced Mills after the 1979 season and led Cawood to a third straight trip to the regional finals in 1980. Cumberland ended Cawood’s five-year run as 52nd District champs in 1981.
Mike Jones spent two seasons as head girls coach while serving as an assistant for the boys and led JACHS to 49 wins and two district championships. The Trojanettes had one of the region’s biggest teams with Sandy Lee, who later played at Northern, along with Kim Harber and Beverly Eads, all around 6-foot tall. Cawood made it back to the finals in 1983 but lost another heartbreaker to Clay County in Jones’ final game before going on to lead the boys team the next four years.
Tom Mouyeos took over in the 1984 season, then stepped aside as Mills came back for one more season as coach. Both teams suffered first-round district exits. Mouyeos came back to lead the Trojanettes to an unexpected district title in 1986 as Cawood upset Cumberland in the finals, but the Lady Skins bounced back for their second regional title in two years under John Bond. The JACHS lineup that season included Carol Hensley, Sherri White, Kim Bailey, Malissa Sergent and Julie Hensley. Sergent developed into one of the Trojanettes’ all-time greats before graduating in 1989 and then going on to play at Western Carolina University.
Raymond Cox, a former Laurel County basketball star, coached through much of the 1990s. After a slow start, the Trojanettes became a regional contender midway through the decade as Jennifer Tolliver, Pat Kron and Cindy Kron were standouts. Cawood won 19 games twice and 17 games twice in Cox’s last four years. Tolliver went on to play at Cumberland College.
Bond, a coaching legend at Cumberland, took over the Trojanettes in the 1996-97 season but left midway through the year. Lynwood Parsons, a boys assistant, took over on an interim basis and led a late run that ended with a loss to Rockcastle County in the regional finals. Denise Sergent, Amanda Vance and Penny Nolan led the Trojanettes that season, along with future HCHS assistant coach Jill Harris. Vance was one of the region’s top players by the time she graduated and went on to play at Union College.
Former Cawood quarterback/center fielder Bucky Burkhart took over as coach after the 1997 season following several years as an assistant at Evarts under Freddie McCreary. Burkhart was unable to get the Trojanettes back to the regional finals but he did lead Cawood to four straight district titles from 2001 through 2004.
Savanna Wynn was the Trojanettes’ top player during that era, becoming the last Cawood player to earn all-state honors as a senior. Shelby Engle and Natasha Boggs were both outstanding point guards on those early-2000s teams. Amanda Miracle gave the Trojanettes a strong post presence.
The Trojanettes fell on hard times at the end with only one winning season out of the last four with no regional tournament appearances. Emily Boggs provided most of the bright spots during her four years of high school as she set the school scoring record with 1,967 points.
Kelley pointed out that several of the former Trojanettes worked hard to help teach the game to future generations. Kelley coached at Evarts High School as an assistant and head coach, then went on to Black Mountain Elementary School. Tolliver led Corbin to a regional championship before returning to Harlan as a school administrator. Savanna Wynn and Vance both coach in the middle school program at Harlan. Emily Boggs has coached for the last decade at Cawood Elementary School.
“I appreciate all the former players who have coached in our county and other places,” she said. “They have fostered growth in our young people, not only on the court but off as well.”

Savanna Wynn was the final all-stater from the Cawood Trojanettes when she was selected as a senior to the third team Associated Press all-state squad in 2003


Malissa Sergent was a four-year starter for the Cawood Trojanettes and is a member of the school’s 1,000-point club. She went on to play at Western Carolina.

2008 Bucky Burkhart 14-14
2007 Bucky Burkhart 11-19
2006 Bucky Burkhart 14-13
2005 Bucky Burkhart 5-22
2004 Bucky Burkhart 17-9
2003 Bucky Burkhart 22-7
2002 Bucky Burkhart 22-8
2001 Bucky Burkhart 17-11
2000 Bucky Burkhart 8-18
1999 Bucky Burkhart 19-8
1998 Bucky Burkhart 10-15
1997 Bond, Parsons 16-12
John Bond (8-5)
Lynwood Parsons (8-7)
1996 Raymond Cox 17-6
1995 Raymond Cox 19-7
1994 Raymond Cox 17-9
1993 Raymond Cox 19-8
1992 Raymond Cox 9-13
1991 Raymond Cox 11-15
1990 Raymond Cox 11-14
1989 Tom Mouyeos 15-12
1988 Tom Mouyeos 18-9
1987 Tom Mouyeos 16-9
1986 Tom Mouyeos 18-12
1985 Basil Mills 14-7
1984 Tom Mouyeos 14-11
1983 Mike Jones 24-11
1982 Mike Jones 25-7
1981 Jane Long 16-8
1980 Jane Long 22-7
1979 Basil Mills 20-6
1978 Basil Mills 22-4
1977 Basil Mills 18-7
1976 Basil Mills 19-8
1975 Basil Mills 12-6

(Won district in 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 1995, 1986, 1983, 1982, 1980. 1979, 1978, 1976; second in 2007, 2000, 1999, 1997, 1993, 1991, 1988, 1981)
(Won region in 1978; second in 1997, 1983, 1980, 1979)


Basil Mills posted a 115-38 record in six seasons as the girls basketball coach at Cawood High School, leading the Trojanettes to four straight 52nd District titles from 1976 to 1979 and a 13th Region title in 1978.