Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

November 7, 2012

Lady Pirates bring skill, depth to court

Nick Gonnella
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — The Greensburg girls basketball team began the 2012-2013 season Wednesday, looking to have a more competitive presence in the sectional tournament.

The Lady Pirates are aiming not only to improve on last year’s 8-13 mark, but to make a run at a sectional title.

Greensburg opens with its typically challenging matchups against Franklin and Shelbyville.

Head coach Mike Miller envisions a better outlook for his team this season than in the past two years, despite the graduation of three talented players in Jennifer Redelman, Morgan Menkedick and Courtney Smith.

“We have a much higher skill level than the last two years,” he said. “We will struggle at times, but by January we will be competitive.”

Greensburg will feature six returning seniors in Clare Owens, Shelby Ward, Audrey Geis, Heidi Dance, Hayley Williams and Lillie Wolter.

“All of them played some last year,” said Miller. “I expect them to carry that leadership role. They’re very competitive, but more than that, they’re really top flight kids. We’ve had as good of leadership as we’ve had in two years. They have really worked on being leaders. With one freshman starter and two or three sophomores, we’re going to need that kind of leadership.”

Miller noted Owens’ drive to take a leading role for Greensburg.

“Clare has talked all summer about wanting to be a good leader,” he said, adding that Owens is “much better at shooting and taking the ball to the basket.”

Miller commented on each of the seniors who played at least some time last year. Geis and Ward, who missed last season with an injury, will suit up at guard, while Dance will play on the wing. He likes what he sees from Williams and Lillie Wolter.

“Hayley is an excellent rebounder,” he said. “Lillie is very good streak shooter. She can really shoot well.”

Playing wing will be 5-foot-10 junior Joanna Redelman and 5-foot-11 sophomore Jessica Banaschak, who both started last year.

“Joanna is a much better outside shooter, stronger, and we can use her in the post,” said Miller. “She has improved her shot significantly. Jessica is a much better shooter than she was last year. She’s gotten stronger and a lot more aggressive.”

Playing point will be freshman Taylor McIntosh, whom Miller said “sees the point very well. She’s athletic, strong and quick. She understands the game and will be a major contributor for us.”

Junior Sydney Wettering will also help out on the wing.

“She really came on strong the second half of last season,” said Miller. “She’s a good athlete.”

Miller said sophomore Abbey Denton “will be a big part of what we do,” especially on defense.

“Abbey is very good at putting pressure on the ball,” he said. “She’s also improved her shooting.”

Also in the mix are three other freshmen - guards Maddi Hellmich and Kasey Moeller, and wing Keauna Schultz, along with Megan Schmidt, Emma Wolter and Chelsea Herlsey. Miller called Hersley, who will miss some time with an injury, a very competitive, pure point guard.

“Keauna is a very good shooter and very strong,” said Miller. “Megan is a good rebounder and Emma shoots the ball well. They’re both good athletes.”

Miller said he looks forward to seeing how far the senior class can lead the team.

“It’s hard, but you have to push it to another level,” he said. “The seniors do a great job of setting the tone. We have a lot of kids coming back that are good, and we also have a good youth and junior high group. A big part of the fun is playing up to their potential. It’s actually accomplishing something that is difficult to do.”

Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.