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Paynesville Press - November 17, 2004

Girls' hoops to open season on Friday night

By Michael Jacobson

By emphasizing their quickness - both on defense and offense - the Bulldogs girls' basketball team could contend for a conference title and could reach the subsection title game, coach Jackie Parsley hopes.

The Bulldogs - 15-8 last year in Parsley's first year at the helm - open their 2004-05 season on Friday night when they host BBE.

The team returns three starters who earned conference honors last year: senior guard Kim Hess, senior guard Kendra Johnson, and senior forward Brittany Lieser. Hess was an All Conference selection last year as the Dogs went 7-3 in the West Central Conference North and finished second. Johnson and Lieser were honorable mention selections in the WCC North last year.

Missing, though, is center Amanda Glenz, who scored nearly 40 percent of the team's points last year and grabbed nearly 30 percent of its rebounds. (Glenz was one of four players lost to graduation.)

Without Glenz in the post, the Dogs are learning a 1-4 offense, said Parsley, to spread the floor and exploit their quickness. The Dogs will also play more man-to-man defense, said Parsley, and will need to create turnovers and fast-break opportunities.

Having started practice on Monday, Nov. 8, the Dogs will have had less then two weeks to prepare for their first game, which is a challenge since they are learning a new offense, said Parsley. The good side is the early game has forced them to concentrate on getting ready and that they will have nearly ten days before their second game (on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at Kimball).

The Dogs should have a more balanced scoring attack this year, relying on penetration, inside scoring from a variety of players, and outside shooting. Hess and Johnson have played on the varsity for three years, and Parsley is counting on them to be leaders on offense and defense. Hess averaged 10.2 points per game last year along with 6.2 assists per game. She broke the school record for career assists last year but will be missing one of her favorite targets in Glenz.

Johnson and Lieser averaged 6.2 and 6.0 points per game last year. Johnson was second on the team in steals and assists (behind Hess) , and Lieser was second on the team in rebounding (behind Glenz).

Other returning varsity players this year are senior guard Kayla Mackedanz; senior post Sam Moser (a part-time starter last year); junior guard Ashley Lieser; and junior post Lynn Lieser. Newcomers to the varsity this year are senior Ashley Horner and juniors Amber Jensen, Allyson Klenke, and Shonda Martinson. Klenke and Martinson, both posts, are battling for playing time inside, said Parsley.

If the team can use its quickness to score and to play aggressive defense, creating turnovers and holding opponents to less than 40 percent shooting, they could battle Albany, Cathedral, and Melrose for the conference title, said Parsley. They also, though, will need to take better care of the ball. The Dogs averaged over 18 turnovers a game last year and need to cut that in half, said Parsley.

Joining Parsley this year are new junior varsity and ninth grade coaches. Karla Nett is coaching the junior varsity, and Carrie Hemmesch is coaching the ninth grade.

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