Mariner girls need to grow young talent Core players can ‘hold their own’

Deer Isle—The girls basketball team has a core of players who saw varsity time last year and a group of younger players we will need to incorporate into varsity play. To start the season off, Coach Randy Shepard feels that the core players can hold their own, but the younger players will need to get up to speed to give us depth off the bench.

The seniors include three players with considerable varsity experience, Ashley Haskell, Allyson Eaton, and Natalie Knowlton. Also there is Savannah Lowry and Rickki Hewes, two players who have not had much experience playing at this level.

There are two juniors, Jesslyn Gove and Madison Frazier. The only sophomore is Orly Vaughan. These players have experience from last year.

The freshmen are Lilly Gray, Abby Stinson, Kaley Eaton, Addie McDonald, and Sadie Rice. Coach Shepard is hoping to arrange a few “JV” games over the season so these players can get time on the floor to build their skills and gain experience working together.

To begin the season, Coach Shepard is working on conditioning and fundamentals. We will be a work in progress, especially in the early season as we try to find our identity and get the younger players to feel comfortable at the varsity level of play.

So far, all the players are working hard at getting everyone on the same page. Many of the players who did play last year will now have to step up into a more assertive role so that they can be the leaders of the team. We will have to work on the half-court game and use our players to their strengths.

Coach Shepard is working on being more aggressive on both offense and defense. We have the height to pass over the press and we will need to deal with that against most teams. With so many question marks, we will definitely be a work in progress in the early season.

Building our confidence will be a challenge at first, but Coach Shepard is cautiously optimistic that we will work hard together as the season progresses. He will be putting the pieces of the puzzle together and hopes to have a good picture when it is done at the end of the season.

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