Chillicothe Times-Bulletin - Chillicothe, IL
  • IVC girls basketball prepares for St. Bede Christmas Classic

  • With an up-and-down first half of the season in the rearview, Illinois Valley Central's girls basketball team is hoping to start the final stretch on a high note.
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  • With an up-and-down first half of the season in the rearview, Illinois Valley Central's girls basketball team is hoping to start the final stretch on a high note.
    "Going into the second part of the year and into Regionals, we will run a lot more different types of plays and our defense will step up," coach Marc Lowe said. "We will do some more stuff defensively as well. That was my whole plan from the beginning, to show them some things early and get them acclimated and then add more as the year goes.
    "We are going to look to run some more and get some easier baskets. We've really controlled our turnovers from the beginning of the season. Looking at the stat sheet, those have gone down. We just have to work on finishing. We are getting open shots, we just aren't finishing at the hoop."
    The team played good basketball throughout the early goings but struggled at times to get wins.
    "I think it was really good," Lowe said of the start of the year. "We just went through basketball 101 and taught them a lot of things. They had to learn to adjust to what I want from them."
    However, the team beat Roanoke Benson, 52-15, Dec. 3 and Abingdon, 48-30, Dec. 6 to put together the team's first two game winning streak since January 2011.
    "I've adjusted well to this group," Lowe said. "I've tried to teach them the fundamentals and make sure that they understand how the offense works and to not go too fast with them. We all have to be on the same page in order for us to be successful, because I need every last one of them for us to be successful."
    The victory over Roanoke Benson also marked the return of Anna Parr to the team's lineup after being sidelined due to injury to start the year.
    After gaining Parr back, the team quickly lost her to an ACL/MCL injury after several games.
    "That's a little bit of a blow to us," Lowe said. "I just feel bad for her. She will still be part of the team. I'm going to use her as a student assistant now. She'll mentor our younger kids."
    To have success in the final half of the season heading into Regional, the team will need Sarah Lawson and Erica Larson's shooting to stay consistent on mid-to-long range shots.
    "We've put in some new stuff to our gameplan and I've brought up three sophomores, Madi Horack, Shayna VanOstrand and Kaitlin Heinz, to fill some holes. I've been trying to get them acclimated to the quickness of the varsity level and get them used to what we run.
    "We are trying to fill some scoring holes right now and working on our defense, which has taken a couple of steps back."
    Page 2 of 2 - IVC will have plenty of chances to give fans a Christmas gift by playing at least five games in the St. Bede Christmas Classic.
    The team began the tournament Saturday against Kewanee.
    "With me being the new man on the block, I don't know much about any of the teams in the tournament," Lowe said. "My focus this year is to worry about us rather than on other teams. We'll make adjustments as games go on. I have video on other teams from coach (Paul) Mercer, but I'm concentrating more on us and our play as a team."
    The Ghosts (3-7) next play at 2 p.m. Thursday against LaMoille and 6:30 p.m. Thursday against Seneca.
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