Expectations still high for 'Jackets (11-19-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by THOMAS SCHMELTZ Sentinel Sports Writer   
Tuesday, 19 November 2013 11:01
Returning letter winners for Perrysburg girls varsity basketball. Front (from left): Kelsey Moore (13), Allex Brown (35), Sarah Baer (23), Abby Sattler (10) and Lindy DeLong (22). (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
PERRYSBURG - Asking Perrysburg's girls basketball team to replicate the success it had last year would be unfair.
The Yellow Jackets concluded the 2012-13 season 23-2 overall, including a 14-0 mark in the Northern Lakes League. Their only two losses were to Notre Dame Academy, the second loss coming in a Division I regional semifinal.
But don't think Perrysburg is not going to do its best to improve upon that outstanding season.
"Our goals are always the same. Have fun … win the league, and try to take another step further," said Perrysburg head coach Todd Sims.
"Regional final would be a great thing if that could happen."
Despite graduating five seniors, Perrysburg has the core to make a strong run for another NLL title and a deep tournament run.
The 'Jackets return their top three scorers from last year and its top two post players in Sarah Baer and Allex Brown.
Last season, Baer and Brown scored 13.4 and 10.6 points per game, respectively, while point-guard Abby Sattler accounted for 7.3 ppg.
Lindy DeLong is the other starter back, as Brown was a mainstay off the deep Perrysburg bench last year.
"Even though we have some players back, every team is different," Sims said. "Some things we did well last year, we won't do as well this year."
One thing Perrysburg still expects to do well is exploit its strong inside game with Baer and Brown. The 6-foot-1 posts combined to average more than 16 rebounds per game last season.
In addition to their size and inside skills, the two have the ability to run the floor and push the ball as well as step out for jump shots.
"It's hard to guard," Sims said of Baer and Brown's multidimensional game. "If you're another team's post player and you're not used to running up and down the court … it's difficult.
"They're both very talented. They can pass. They're both great in the open court," he added.
Sims also likes his team's ability to shoot even after seeing a small sample size, just weeks into practice.
But the one area the 'Jackets will lack, at least early in the season, is depth.
Last season Perrysburg was fortunate to have three seniors come off the bench and still get the same amount of production as with its starters.
With the graduation of role players Katie Dunphy, Mollie Whitacre and Samantha Gremler, Perrysburg's bench will consist of mainly inexperienced sophomores and juniors.
"That's where we're young and everybody is that way," Sims said of his bench. "Usually your bench players are sophomores and juniors and that's where we're at now. They were predominately (junior varsity) players last year, and they've got to get used to the speed of the game and the physicality is different."
Coming up from last year's junior varsity squad that went 17-4 a year ago are Taylin Hunter, Kayla Piezer and Jenn Witt.
"The No. 1 most important thing right now is building depth," Sims added. "We're young on the bench. That's one of our key things right now."
Another strong point for Perrysburg last year was its pressing defense, led by Maddy Williams, who averaged 4.2 steals per game. She recorded 105 of Perrysburg's 355 steals last season.
Sims said acknowledged Williams' presence and said that the 'Jackets are not likely to use as much full-court pressure as last year.
He added the only way to replace a player like Williams is with a deep bench, which he is so desperately looking to build in the coming weeks.
"Last year," Sims said, "when we were able to sub, we didn't drop at all, and we have to get to that point this year. … And we will. It just takes time."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 November 2013 16:52

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