Before Kelly Robson’s first season as the Marion High School girls’ basketball coach, the team had won three games the previous year. Last year, they won five.
“We made it a goal to improve our skills, and the girls worked hard in the summer,” Robson said. “The sophomores through seniors know what I’m expecting now, and we can pick up where we left off.”
The Lady Warriors return four starters from last season in Kaelyn Thierolf, Megan Richmond, Kelli Hess, and Katey Ehrlich, each of them seniors that have contributed to the varsity team since they were freshmen.
Thierolf is the lone starter in the post, and despite good rebounding production, Robson noted the team would not be tall down low.
Robson also said Richmond has a knack for understanding where rebounds are going for a smaller athlete at 5-7.
Hess is playing with more confidence this year at the shooting guard position, and will provide outside scoring for the team.
Ehrlich played point guard last season, but will move off the ball this season, passing the main ball-handling duties to sophomore Kirsten Hansen. Robson said Ehrlich does a good job of driving the lane and drawing fouls.
Hansen was not a starter last season, but Robson said she could settle the team in tough situations.
“A few times last year when the defensive pressure stepped up, we let it frustrate us, and we didn’t have anyone who could slow it down,” he said.
Robson said it is a little early in the season to tell where reserve minutes will come yet, but mentioned junior Julia Hall and sophomores Bailey Robson, Marshelle Mermis, and Erika Hess as potential contributors.
The Lady Warriors begin their season Friday against Southeast of Saline High School in Marion, then the Marion Classic beginning Monday. Robson said he believes the team can win or lose every game in its early schedule, dependent on how the team plays together.
“I’m always about improvement,” he said. “Obviously I hope we win more than five games this season. We’re better than the last, and I hope it shows.”