By Travis Smola
It’s been a tough season for the varsity girls’ basketball team in Vicksburg.
The team is 4-15 near the season’s end, but the second half of the season has been a marked improvement on the first half of the season. Head Coach Jesse Vanabel said turnovers were a real problem. Extensive drills resulted in more patience and better passing when driving to the basket.
“We started attacking the basket instead of going for jump shots all the time,” Vanabel said.
In the latter half of the season, the girls picked up three wins over Dowagiac, Allegan and South Haven. The wins show there seem to be some pieces in place for the future. Freshman Hannah Vallier seems to be one of them. She leads the team in points this year. Vallier had 21 points and six rebounds in the team’s 53-43 victory over Dowagiac.
She also led the team in points against Allegan with 11 in their 51-42 win over the Tigers. The team is also seeing good things from fellow freshman Brady Brown who had 13 points and five rebounds against Dowagiac. Her height helped her lead the team in rebounds with over 90 on the season.
Sophomore Kelsey Diekman and juniors Madeleine Geiger and Nicola Hosner have also been important parts of a team that really never seems to get discouraged, even when facing a lot of adversity. Diekman has over 80 points on the year while Geiger has over 90 and Hosner over 70.
Vanabel said he talked with the girls about each of them playing for their teammates instead of themselves. Since then, field goal percentages have gone up and there has been a reduction in the mistakes the team made at the beginning of the year.
This year’s team will only lose two seniors in Hailey Burr and Lydia Dorscht. The season may have been full of growing pains, but it should pay off with all of the varsity experience for the team’s freshman.
“It’s something a young team has to work through,” he said.