Season Preview: Lady Panthers set goals high after first year under belts

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By Kristin Beck

With a second year under their belts in head coach Paul Stone’s system and losing no seniors to graduation last season, the Lady Panthers will look to improve upon their 7-20 record last season.

“That is one positive to not having any seniors is because you have the same players back,” Stone said.

Having a new coach, a new system and no seniors on the team was difficult for the girls last season, and on him, Stone said. This year’s team will be better because the girls now have varsity experience and understand the system.

In fact, Stone said he has already seen
improvement – during the summer league and so far in practice. “We’re already better than we were last year,” he said.

The 2012-13 Lady Panthers finished the season 7-20, 4-14 in the 8th Region and 3-7 in the 31st District and lost in the first round of the district tournament to Owen County.

This season, the girls basketball team has set its goals high: to finish the season with a winning record, to win the Class A tournament and to win a first round 31st District tournament game and, ultimately, the entire tournament, Stone said. “If we play hard and as a group, we have a chance to do that.”

Carroll County will host both the 8th Region All-A Classic (Jan. 14-17) and the 31st District Tournament (the week of Feb. 24). The Lady Panthers will play Williamstown in the All-A on Jan. 15.

The girls also will play three games Dec. 26-28 in the Farmers National Bank Holiday Bash at South Warren High School. Carroll will take on North Hardin in the first round.

This year’s  squad is led by four seniors: Kristen “Doodle” Amick, Makena Kindoll, Tatum McIntyre and Kayla Williamson.

Amick splits time between the basketball team and the cheerleading squad. “She’s one of our best rebounders and is good at finishing around the basket,” Stone said. She also is not afraid of anybody, he said.

Kindoll will be looked upon to lead the team from the point guard spot and is an excellent defender, Stone said. She also has improved her ball handling since last year and will be counted on to be one of the team’s top scorers, he said.

McIntyre is the “consummate team player,” Stone said. She has the best attitude on the team and just wants to win, he said. She also has good offensive skills and works hard every day.

“Kayla is our spark plug,” Stone said. “She has a nose for the ball and should look to shoot more than she does.” Williamson plays hard and is always on the floor diving after loose balls, he said.

Junior Lauren Moore and sophomores Miranda Groseclose and Chasity Burgin round out the team’s top seven rotation.

Good ball handling and defense will be the key to success for this year’s team, Stone said.

Ball handling is more than just dribbling – it includes making good decisions with the basketball, pivoting and head and ball fakes, he said. That and defense will determine how well the team does overall and in tournaments, he said.

“We can’t play hot potato with the ball,” Stone said. “We have to take our time and make good decisions.

“… I’m very excited about this season. The girls have come a long way.”