Times Sports Editor
There will be a much different look to the Clay City girl's basketball team after the graduation of a senior class that won three consecutive sectionals and advanced to the regional championship last season.
All five starters are gone, which opens up plenty of playing time for a team that includes a pair of seniors in Callie Dayhuff and Kaleigh Decker, but also includes seven freshmen, four juniors and a sophomore.
Coach Chris Ames acknowledged the team's varsity inexperience, but noted that the team still has some leaders that saw key minutes last season.
"We're really trying to find out identity and find out who were are and what our expectations are, not only as a team, but individually and what they can contribute to the team," Ames said. "That's probably been the biggest change. One thing is, we had a group that had played so much together, but for these girls it is kind of a new role for them. They are figuring out what they need to do for the team to be successful. I think we're headed in the right direction for that."
The Eels return Dayhuff and Decker, who each saw time in at least 17 games and Alex Wolfe brings some size with her 5'10 build
"We have two seniors this year in Callie Dayhuff and Kaleigh Decker and they are trying to lead by example," Ames said. "They are trying to do the little things. Our coaching staff is getting used to re-teaching some of the things we took for granted in the past because they knew what they were doing. We have some freshmen that are playing and (Dayhuff and Decker) are just trying to lead by example and doing it the right way."
Logan Ellinger saw action in 15 games last season and was the junior varsity team's leading scorer most nights. The JV team had plenty of success during a 13-3 campaign.
Junior Mahayle Durga will see increased varsity time this season, but Ames also noted that some of the first-year players could contribute as well.
Defense played an important role in the team's success the past few seasons, including the 2011-12 squad, which averaged better than 13 steals per contest
"We're going to have to defend. If we don't defend, I don't think we're going to score like we have in the past. We'll have some games that we will, but every night we're going to have to bring a defensive mindset to the game," Ames said. "Really, we're going to have to limit possessions and second opportunities. Offensive rebounds are a big key, if we give those up it will be difficult to win any game."
Along with Dayhuff, Decker, Wolfe, Kylee Truax and Durga, the Eels also include a group of freshmen that includes Steward, Emily Rogers, Raven Allender, Courtney Brown, Alexis Price, Nakisha Cass and Chelsea Simonson.
"We're going to have two or three girls that will be in the lineup every night unless there is an injury or illness," Ames said. "We're really relying heavily on Callie Dayhuff to lead by example. Alex Wolfe is a returner that got a lot of minutes so we're relying on those two, but the other three spots are open. We're all about practice and a lot of people don't see what goes on in practice with the effort and communication with what we're trying to do and that's going to play a role in who starts each night. Everyone is going to have an opportunity and I know they are excited about that."
2012-13 Clay City girl's basketball schedule
|Nov. 13||vs. Shakamak||7:30 p.m.|
|Nov. 15||at West Vigo||7:30 p.m.|
|Nov. 19||vs. Rockville||7:30 p.m.|
|Nov. 26||vs. White River Valley||7:30 p.m.|
|Nov. 29||at Riverton Parke||7:30 p.m.|
|Dec. 1||vs. Cascade||7:30 p.m.|
|Dec. 6||at Linton||7:30 p.m.|
|Dec. 10||at North Central||7:30 p.m.|
|Dec. 13||vs. Union||7:30 p.m.|
|Dec. 18||vs. Cloverdale||7:30 p.m.|
|Dec. 27-28||at Greene County Tourney||TBA|
|At Eastern Greene|
|Jan. 7||vs. Owen Valley||7:30 p.m.|
|Jan. 14||vs. N. Daviess||7:30 p.m.|
|Jan. 17||at Sullivan||7:30 p.m.|
|Jan. 22||vs. Northview||7:30 p.m.|
|Jan. 24||at Eastern Greene||7:30 p.m.|
|Jan. 29||vs. South Putnam||7:30 p.m.|
|Feb. 5-9||at Sectional|