Lady Bulldogs Facing Season of Growing Pains

2018-01-30 08.16.21
Vicksburg’s Hannah Vallier (23) goes up for a basket with Brady Brown (40) trailing. Olivia Ingle from Schoolcraft gets ready to field the rebound.

By Travis Smola

The Vicksburg girls’ basketball team is 1-12 for the year with five games to go in the regular season.

The Lady Bulldogs’ only win on the season is still a 46-29 win over Portage Northern right before winter break. The girls have had a few chances in other games. Their loss to Paw Paw in early December was by only four points, 44-41. The team lost by just one in a road game against Allegan and came within five of beating Sturgis at home in their last game before winter break.

In its latest game, the team faced its toughest test all year against neighboring Schoolcraft. Though they fought a tough game, the girls ultimately fell to a still-undefeated Eagles team 50-30.

Even though things haven’t been going well, head coach Jesse Vanabel felt there was a marked improvement over the last game in the team’s 46-23 loss to rival Three Rivers. The girls were able to keep things close through the first two quarters. It was 6-10 after one and 12-20 after two.

Turnovers and a marked increase in offensive aggression in the third and fourth helped the Wildcats pull away. Giveaways and errant passes are not a new problem for the Lady Bulldogs, unfortunately. Vanabel said he would like to see the team be a bit more patient offensively. He does have an idea to work on that with 5 on 3 and 7 on 3 drills. The idea is to overload on defense on practice. “It makes you think about when you’re going to pass it,” Vanabel said.

This year’s team only has two seniors in Hailey Burr and Lydia Dorscht. Otherwise the team is loaded with younger players. Against Three Rivers, Vicksburg played four freshmen. One of them, Hannah Vallier, led the team with six points.

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