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MARION: Marion girls look to bounce back

Staff writer

With three returning starters and one experienced senior who was unable to play last year because of transfer rules, Marion’s girls basketball team looks to have a great start to the season.

Head coach Jason Hett said the team looked to bounce back from last year’s one-win season.

“We will be led by returning all-league player senior Jayden May,” Hett said. “Jayden has been a starter for the Lady Warriors the past three seasons. We will look to Jayden to provide leadership and poise to a young squad.”

May will be asked to play multiple positions, the coach said.

“We also look forward to the addition of senior Grayce Tankersley,” he said. “Grayce was unable to play varsity last year due to transfer rules. Grayce brings another ball handler and scorer to our squad. She will be a lock-down defender for us as well.”

Returning junior Calli Burkholder was one of the better shooters on the team, Hett said.

“We will look to free her up to get her shot up,” he said.

He is also counting on Jalyssa Williams.

“She is working hard in practice and has been a great addition for us,” Hett said.

Another leader will be returning sophomore starter Grace Hett, the coach said.

“We will look to Grace to be a scorer for us and to handle the basketball,” Hett said. “Grace brings a lot of knowledge to the team, and I am looking forward to seeing her continue to grow in her sophomore season.”

The team looks to do some different things on the floor this season.

“We will not have a whole lot of size, so we will look to play up-tempo and full-court defense this season,” he said. “The girls are working hard to learn a new style of play.”

Summer practice gave team members time to work on their new approach.

Handling pressure is an area where the team will have to improve, Hett said.

“We are going to see a lot of teams that will look to pressure us, and we will need to be able to handle the basketball and limit our turnovers,” he said. “This has been a weakness for us the past couple years, so we are working hard to make this an area that does not hurt us this season.”

Hett believes the team can pull together and be very competitive.

“Our league is a very tough league with the defending state champions in Sterling,” Hett said. “Each night, our team will need to be focused and locked in to what we are trying to do, and if we do, this group might surprise some people.”

The team will play 13 regular games, a four-day classic in Marion, a challenge in Conway Springs, a tournament in Marion, and a four-day classic at Centre, before sub-state and state competitions.

Last modified Dec. 2, 2021

 

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