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Elmwood girls have plenty of questions (11-16-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by THOMAS SCHMELTZ, Sentinel Sports Writer   
Saturday, 16 November 2013 04:38
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Elmwood girl's returning letterman (from left) Marissa Swavel, Tiffany Hillard, Courtney Emmitt, and Kristen Curtis. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
JERRY CITY — Looking ahead to a fresh basketball season, Elmwood’s girls have more questions than answers.
After graduating four seniors — including three starters — the Royals are forced to find out who can step into the starting roles.
“We’ve got to have kids who want to step into that role, and handle the ball against pressure defense,” said Elmwood head coach Doug Reynolds.
“We’re a work in progress, I tell the kids,” he added. “There are weaknesses that we’ve got to fill.”
The Royals, defending Northern Buckeye Conference champions, graduated starting standouts Brittany Gross and Brittany George, along with Tori Hillard.
Gross and George combined to average about 24 points per game, according to Reynolds, while Hillard, a tall inside presence, added about 5.0 ppg.
“There are a lot of questions, and a lot of things we’ve got to fill,” said Reynolds, who led his team to a 13-1 record in the NBC last year.
Elmwood, 21-4 last year with a trip to the district finals, returns four letter winners.
The most notable returner is senior Kristen Curtis. The 5-foot-10 wing averaged about 11 ppg in 2012.
Also returning are senior guard Marissa Swavel, who saw extensive playing time last year, along with Tiffany Hillard, a 5-8 wing.
“They’re not new to it. They saw lots of time last year,” Reynolds said.
One of Elmwood’s biggest questions this season is who will do the majority of ball handling? Gross served as Elmwood’s primary leader from the point last year.
“Swavel and Curtis will have to handle the ball. Courtney Emmitt will have to handle the ball,” Reynolds said. “Those three right there, as seniors, need to handle the ball a lot.”
The Royals also has seven players from last year’s junior varsity team which went 15-6.
Ashley Veryser and Rebecca Harvey bring the most experience from the 2012 junior varsity squad, as both saw some time in varsity games as well.
But Reynolds knows everyone, not just the new varsity players, must find a way to fit into this year’s team in order to be successful.
“That’s what practices and scrimmages are for. To find out who is going to step into those roles,” Reynolds said. “Everybody’s got to find a role on the team. … Whether you’re the starter, the scorer whatever, you have to find a role. That’s what is going to make us a better team.”
Even with all of the new faces and unanswered questions, Reynolds still has set high expectations.
After being picked third in the NBC coaches poll behind Genoa and Lake, the Royals do not want to settle for anything less than a conference title, while figuring out who their leaders will be for the season.
“We’re not going to sneak up on anybody like last year,” Reynolds said. “We expect every night to be tough on the floor.
“My expectations is to see who is going to step up,” he continued. “Who is going to lead us? Somebody has to lead us because we have to put points on the board. Who is going to be the ones to do that?”
translates to the offensive end, and we seem to be in more of a rhythm.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 10:17
 

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