By Marty Gordon
Eli Underwood led the Eastern Montgomery High School girls’ basketball team to the school’s first Pioneer District regular season and tournament titles. The senior guard averaged 13 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.2 steals and 28 assists per game.
For her effort, the 5-7 junior has been named the 2020 All-County/All-City girls’ player of the year. She was also named the Pioneer District player of the year.
Underwood’s coach, Kelley Sutphin, took her team into the state playoffs before losing to Auburn. In addition to being named the Pioneer District’s coach of the year, she has also been named the All-County/All-City girls’ coach of the year after her team finished with a 16-8 record.
This is her second stint as Eastern Montgomery’s coach, and this season was her second most successful.
Sutphin, a physical education teacher at Eastern Montgomery Elementary School, returned to the bench as head coach in 2017 after a 10-year hiatus. She coached the Lady Mustangs from 1999-2007, stepping away to start a family. In the 2002-2003 girls’ basketball season, EMHS posted a 17-7 record under her.
Underwood was joined on the all-county/all-city girls’ team by Skylar Prosser of Blacksburg High, Hannah Allen of Christiansburg High , Jada Dean of Radford High and Hannah Huffman of Auburn High.