The Clintonville girls basketball team will have their work cut out for them this season, as they try to replace a lot of lost production from the year before. Last season the Lady Truckers finished 10-8 in the North Eastern, and lost in the Regional Final to Xavier.
This year they’ll have a lot of inexperience, as they must replace five of their top six scorers, says head coach Nick Yaeger.
“We lost 86 percent of our scoring through our seniors,” Yaeger spoke about his team’s transition. “Catherine Morse played a lot of good minutes for us last year as a junior. That’s about 13 percent of our scoring from last year, so it’s going to be a challenge.”
Catherine Morse will be relied upon as a team leader, especially offensively. She averaged close to 8 points per game last season, as the team’s third leading scorer. With having such a young team that hasn’t logged many minutes, Yaeger says success won’t necessarily be defined by their record, but rather how they are able to improve throughout the season.
“I tell them all the time, we don’t pay attention to the record,” said Yaeger. “When we talk about success it’ll be how much we improve.”
Yaeger knows that his team will have to improve on their shooting as a team, which means they’ll have to rely on their defense. “Shooting is something we need to work on, so we need to play really good defense because f we can’t put the ball in the hoop, we have to keep the opponent low in scoring and keep the game close.”
Coach Yaeger admits this will likely be his toughest coaching challenge, but getting the chance to mold some of the younger talent will lay the foundation down for years to come. It can be difficult, however, if results aren’t there immediately.
“They have to understand it’s a big jump going from 8th grade to playing any kind of varsity. This conference is extremely difficult. You have to look for little victories. You have to look for just improving to get better.”
Clintonville will open up season play on the road Thursday in Bonduel.