By Ben Murphy
Photo by LB Custom Photography
Fourth year Harrison girls varsity basketball head coach Kelly Cook hopes that her squad’s limited numbers don’t come back to bite them in the 2012-13 basketball season.
“What will be a big issue for us is to go injury free through the season,” Cook said. “Having only eight players limits any mishaps that can happen in the season. This group may be small but they are fast and defensive orientated.”
Returning from last year’s team that went 3-17 overall and 0-13 in the Jack Pine Conference are seniors Brandi Powell (guard), Erica Heckman (guard), Hillary Brewer (center) and Olivia Sharp (forward). New to the team is senior Brooke Colville (guard), juniors Katelynn Sherrick (forward), Amber Caskey (center) and Mandy Houck (forward).
“Our program is coming around and for this group a team goal I have for them is to put up six-to-eight wins this season,” Cook said. “It will be a tough task with the limited numbers but it is doable.”
For The Lady Hornets to make noise in the JPC a season after going winless the coach knows her team has to improve in several areas.
“A big task for this team is to keep team chemistry and to support each other positively,” Cook said. “Again, small numbers require closeness and trust. Together this group of girls could really surprise a lot of teams. The defense and speed of this team could be very magical.”
Cook feels that a number of teams can compete for this year’s JPC title, though defending champion Clare could be the team to beat again.
“This year I think Clare and Roscommon are going to battle,” the coach said. “I saw (Clare’s) Lindsay Winter this summer working her game and our league is going to have to stop her. Not only her, but how she will involve the rest of her team in the game. Great players know how to disperse the ball and she can do just that.
Roscommon was observed at a scrimmage this year and they looked great,” Cook added. “Gladwin and Meridian are always teams that demand respect because they have good teams year after year after year. Good luck to them and the rest of the teams this year as we battle.”
The Lady Hornets played opened their season at home against Lake City on Tuesday and open Jack Pine Conference play tonight (Friday) by hosting Beaverton. They return to action Dec. 6 hosting Roscommon.