John Glenn girls basketball preview
WALKERTON — A new head coach, three freshmen, and the graduation of high-scoring Jaci Borlik give John Glenn’s girls basketball team a different look in 2011-12.
New skipper Kyle Amor takes the reins from interim John Willoughby, who guided the program last season in the absence of the late Dan Hutton. Amor, who slides over from the Falcons’ boys basketball coaching staff, anticipates a roller-coaster season as his green squad adjusts to varsity action.
“I’m learning them and they’re definitely learning me and my expectations,” Amor said. “It’s going to be a season of ups and downs. A lot of those ups and downs are going to be because we’re a young team. We need to get our players playing with confidence. There’s some retraining that we have to do. They’re coming from middle school, and high school varsity is a different kind of game.”
The Falcons expect to make good use of a trio of freshmen, led by 5-foot-4 point guard Kyler Columbia, who scored 22 points in her varsity debut, a 41-39 home loss to Argos. Loren Vukovits, a 6-foot freshman post, joined Columbia in the starting lineup, and 5-2 freshman guard Natalie Shetler looks ready to contribute as well.
“All of my freshmen are talented,” Amor said. “If you have to depend on freshmen it helps if they’re talented.
“(Columbia) definitely can shoot, and she shot well (against Argos),” he added. “She’s not going to hit like that every night, and if she’s not hitting other people have to step up.”
Two returning junior starters — 5-10 forward Katie Dreessen and guard Carah Ochs — figure to be the most likely candidates to pick up the slack as the Falcons look to improve upon last year’s 3-18 finish.
“Carah and Katie have the most varsity experience,” Amor said. “They’re actually the ones that have the hardest transition right now. They have to learn a completely different system, but they are juniors and definitely need to take the team by the reins. Without Jaci Borlik to lead the team we’ve got to have people step up and contribute.”
Glenn also counts on seniors Sarah Traversa and Shelby Tetzlaff, junior Hannah Strange, and sophomore Erin Patterson. Sophomore Koral Mendenhall rounds out the varsity roster.
“We’re pretty deep,” Amor said. “We’re going to go nine deep; I’m confident in all nine. We’re going to get after teams defensively. We’re a switching man-to-man team. We’re going to full-court press, both man and zone. I think we’ll be able to wear down teams. If we get in a dog race, I like our chances.”