IVC girls basketball prepares for season

Justin Miller
Anna Parr tries to make a move on an opponent during the 2010-11 basketball season.

The Illinois Valley Central girls’ basketball team is ready to take the court for another season of high-flying action.

Last season, the team fell to Midwest Central in the Regional despite the senior leadership of Ellen Pearson, Liz Blind, Betsy Hurd, Stephanie Johnson and Melanie Duvall.

“From last season, I want to see us cut down on fouls, limit turnovers and keep opposing teams from getting quality looks at the basket,” coach Paul Mercer said. “If we can do those three things, then we will be in every game.”

This season’s senior class consists of forward Emma Hoerr, guard Hannah Johnson, guard and Roanoke-Benson transfer Ramona Marquez, guard/forward Jenna Noland, guard Shae Schmick, forward McKenzie Schroeder and forward/guard Jessica Thomas.

“Emma had ACL surgery in August and might not be able to play until late December,” Mercer said. “She averaged 15 points a game for us last year, so that’s a lot of points we’ll miss right out of the gate.”

Rounding out the squad is the junior class of point guard Anna Parr, forward Brooke Rudolph, point guard Sarah Lawson, guard/forward Brea Kohlman, guard/forward Mallory James, guard Grace Gould and guard/forward Brenda Garner.

“I keep telling everybody that I have 14 players and 12 of them are guards,” Mercer said. “We have to rebound well and, in the half court game, we are going to have to be very physical to overcome our lack of size.”

Offensively, the team will have to overcome the loss of last season’s leading scorer to start the year.

“We will be filling a big hole in our offense,” Mercer said. “Some of the girls will have to step up and girls that were averaging six or seven points a game will need to average eight or nine.

“We will definitely need to check out and rebound. We can’t let opposing teams have two or three shots at the basket.”

Despite the team’s lack of size, Mercer sees a distinct advantage for this year’s squad.

“They are quick, so hopefully we can keep running at opposing teams,” Mercer said. “Our strength is definitely in our speed. Hopefully we can keep switching people in and out to have fresh people running at opponents and keep them on their guard.”

The girls start the season Nov. 23 in the Limestone Tournament at Limestone with times to be announced.

The team’s first non-tournament game will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 at Dixon High School.

The Lady Ghosts open the home season at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 against Princeton.