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MARION: Challenges don't faze girls

Staff writer

High school sports teams are typically at their best when two things are true: the roster has a lot of seniors, and last year’s roster didn’t have a lot of seniors.

Losing four starters to graduation and carrying just one senior on the roster, the Marion girls’ basketball team has quite a challenge in front of it.

Head coach Kelly Robson isn’t too worried, however, because a lack of experience can’t keep his team from achieving the top goal he has set: Play as hard as the team can for as long as it can.

“You can’t ask for much more beyond that — well, I should say, you won’t get much more if you don’t have that,” Robson said.

The one returning starter for the team is junior point guard Kirsten Hansen. Hansen had ACL surgery at the end of last basketball season, though she played without injury through the volleyball season.

Hansen will be a leader on the court for the Warriors, along with the team’s only senior, Julia Hall.

Hall is one of two players on the roster taller than 5-foot-8 and got experience last year, though not as a starter.

“She played as one of the subs off the bench last year, so she has played varsity basketball and knows what to expect, but it is difficult, as the only senior, to lead the whole group,” Robson said.

With only one senior, Robson’s more worried about the effect in the locker room than on the court.

“I think we can replace (last year’s seniors’) skills — their points, their rebounds, all that stuff,” Robson said. “My concern is how we can replace their leadership.”

Hall and Hansen, along with Robson’s daughter Bailey, a junior, are surefire starters, Robson said.

“After that, I still have to figure it out,” he said.

Robson said junior Marshelle Mermis would also be a likely starter, but had knee surgery toward the end of volleyball season that will keep her sidelined for the start of the year.

He also said junior Erika Hess “has been doing some good things” and should see significant playing time.

Juniors McKenzee Remmers, Kristen Herzet, and Elizabeth Meyer, along with sophomore Marissa Jacobson and freshman Kourtney Hansen, round out the roster.

Five freshmen, Corin Parmley, Alli Molleker, Sam Richmond, Jessi Lewman, and Courtney Herzet, comprise the junior varsity roster.

On the court, Robson said the team has pretty good team speed, which it will use to try and put pressure on defenses in transition, and apply full-court pressure at times.

It can use that speed to make up for one of its biggest weaknesses.

“We’re not very tall,” Robson said.

Robson also said he thinks this team could shoot a higher percentage than last year’s. He doesn’t have a concrete mix of guards and forwards in mind.

“It needs to be flexible,” he said. “Our offenses are designed to be basically continuous motion kinds of things, so offensively we don’t really have to play tall and small, we can just go with whoever’s out there.”

Last modified Nov. 27, 2014

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