Following a down year, the girls basketball program is obviously trying to improve the season.
Last year the girls had their ups and down's. Winning against Laporte to continue into the playoffs was big after losing and winning to them in the regular season and both games a combined difference of 10 points. With so many talented players last year, I was surprised that they didn't go even farther. This year, there are different players with talent.
This year the girls will be playing without 1000 point scorer, Ann Poxleitner, who graduated last year. Despite losing two starters, there are players that will have to fill their places. There are many young girls coming up from JV.
When I asked senior, Cathy Frenzel, she told me that it is going to be a big part of the team. Having many players come up from JV means having a depth on the bench. She also said a big strength is having post Katey Lutz. She is a young player with varsity experience.
In the next few years to come that is going to help the team exponentially because she had so much playing time in her freshman year through her varsity year.
Last year Cathy only played JV because she was a transfer.
When I asked her some of her goals as a senior she simply said, "It's my senior year, and I want it to be a good one."
I also asked Tonya Weidenborner, another senior. She said she wants the team to "put our talent in the right direction."
That's basically all the girls need. Over the past few years the girls team has had a lot of talent; they just can't seem to get it where they want it. When I watch some girls shoot in pre-game or just shooting around, they tend to make more shots than when they get put into a game.
Another part of them winning is them being consistent. A player can't show up one night and have a good night, then the next few games have down games. When you play a sport, you have to go full speed and play to your talent every game. Every now and then you will have a down game that everyone will understand. Also, the girls need to be confident.
Last year I heard a lot of girls say the other team has really tall girls, they have a big strong girl, they have a really good shooter, or they are really aggressive.
Well, if you look at the girls team, they have all of those aspects. The girls have height in Kristen White, strength in both posts Kristen White and Carrie Carrigan. There are shooters such as Tonya Weidenborner, Danielle Nistler, Brittney Heck, just to name a few. The whole team can be aggressive. There are many girls with talent this year, and if they can put that talent to use, they shouldn't have any problems making it deeper into the playoffs.
When I asked coach Justin Lundin what the team has done in the off season to improve, he said many of them spent a lot of time shooting. Some went to a camp geared for the Mustang girls and boys basketball program and some are hitting the weights.
I also asked what will be done differently to improve on last year. Lundin told me, "Last year our main focus was on improving our defense. We did a much better job at it and held most of our opponents to under 50 points. This season we hope to continue the strong defense and put more emphasis on scoring with a fast pace offense."
If the girls can do the same as last year and work on offense, I think they will have a great season.
Lundin also said he was most looking forward to having girls with good attitudes. He also said that they are a group that works hard to achieve their goals.