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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Streaks At U of Illinois- Springfield

Saturday morning we went to Lincoln's Tomb.

Rubbing Lincoln's nose for good luck. Confident the way
Marisa Miller shot that she must have rubbed his nose!

How can a 5'2" player block another player out in a picture?

We went down to Springfield to play at UIS on Friday and Saturday. They had beautiful air conditioned facilities. It was nice to play against teams not from this area, and most teams we will not play during the regular season.

We played six games over the two days (20 minute halves with running clock). We lost our first two games by 5-10 points to Taylorville and Springfield SH. We then went on to win our next three games before losing our last game to Springfield High. 

Springfield will be a team we will play in our Thanksgiving Tourney, and Taylorville is a team we will be likely to face at Charleston at Xmas Tourney. 

It is tough without Jessica Lieber, Paige Klinck, Rainee Sibley, and Kaela Jackson able to play at all this weekend this weekend with injuries, and Baylie Boyer was limited.

It is bad in that we become less competitive, and it is bad because we are not able to really get kids getting comfortable at a position and then just pinning their ears back and going after things. We have to think more and cannot react as aggressively. But it is good in that we have some players having an opportunity to develop and play more. And it is an opportunity for us to experiment a little bit more.

After our first two loses it would have been easy for the players to be discouraged and begin to not play as hard. But for the most part, they competed and got after things in the next four games. A highlight of the weekend was our 5th game vs. Nokomis where were down 6 at half and then won by 25 points. 

Some of our "regulars" like Sadee Hamilton and Myra Diggins did their usual good things. But some of our "new" kids while having ups and downs, had some positive to hang their hats on:

Dani Teel continued to earn respect of her teammates and coaches by playing hard. She is probably one of our leading offensive rebounders at 5'5". And this weekend she had to step up and play point guard with Hannah Smith.

Because of injuries Hannah Smith has had to be our "vet" at point guard. It is tough as she often has to play two shifts in a row. She has shown wonderful toughness battling on to the "next play." She is tremendously responsive to coaching- accepts criticism and implements suggestions.

Sharron Diggins and Allison Mangieri continue to do nice things as #2's for us. Sharron does well on the boards, and Allison is really becoming confident as a three point shooter.

This weekend freshmen Casey Williams and junior Marisa Miller handled things as our #3's. Casey held her own and did not back down. Marisa was unconscious as a three point shooter. She had one game with 4 threes and then came back with another game with 5 threes. Casey as a freshmen and Micayla Eisele as a soph have worked hard to learn all that has been thrown at them. 

Chloe Anderson has played just about everywhere except as point guard. This weekend we tried to keep her in the post and she did her usual good job on the boards. 

Emma Junk has had a tough summer battling an injury but we have to physically restrain her to get her off the court. She has shown an ability to read and react at the back of the press. 

It is exciting that we have 16 girls involved, and it is neat that all 16 made the trip this weekend even though 4 knew they were not going to play. Paige and Jessica as captains have not been able to play in a single summer game but they have been at every single game we have played supporting their teammates- pretty impressive.

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