— This is the second in a series of previews of Q-C Metro girls' basketball teams. Coming tomorrow: United Township|
The way Jay Hatch sees it, the Alleman girls' basketball team has two choices when it comes to handling the potential season-ending knee injuries to senior forward Zoe Kelso and junior guard Cierra Davis.
"We can sit and feel sorry for ourselves or we can go out and play," said Hatch, the Alleman coach. "We better get after it."
Replacing Kelso and Davis — who scored 46 percent of Alleman's points last season and both tore anterior cruciate ligaments in their knees during the offseason — already is a daunting task for a team that graduated eight seniors.
At best, those two could return late in the season. In reality, the Pioneers will play the season without either.
"We're going to have to be ready," Hatch said. "We're going to have to do that with the reality we have."
Still, there are pieces and experience that keep the Pioneers excited for this season. In fact, Alleman has adjusted to life without its two leading scorers.
-What do you like about this team?
"They've been working hard in practice. We had a good summer. We don't have a ton of numbers this year, which is unusual. Kids are playing multiple spots. The positive is that there are a lot more reps in practice for the kids. That's been encouraging."
-Who will play shooting guard in lieu of Davis?
"We're still figuring that out. Our guards who are returning are Anna Wetherell and Anne Bohnert. Toward the end of the year, Abbey Johnson was working her way in. Karli Anderson and Dominique Davis and Isabelle Anderson and Raven Wyatt are newcomers."
—Will that be a position by committee?
"We've kind of always done that. Everybody's going to get a chance. That's how we go after it."
—How will your post presence be?
"We've got four kids in there. Erin Morrisey, Maddie McGuire, Daria Guzzo and Anne Bohnert will play post. Those are the four at that spot."
—Has your team had to alter its goals?
"I hope not. We haven't really had a goal-setting session yet, but I hope they didn't (alter their goals). If we did that, we're feeling sorry for ourselves. We're going to show up and play and do the best we can. We've got some skills."
—Can you contend in the Western Big 6 Conference?
"I hope so. You never know how the conference will turn out. There are always things that are unexpected. Our kids have played against all these kids for a long time. It's a matter of putting it together and playing how we want to play. That's easy to say."
—How will this team handle being in Class 3A?
"That remains to be seen. We haven't talked about it at all. I don't even know if our team knows. It's not a focus right now. It's not like football — we don't have to qualify. It's not like we don't play 3A teams — we play plenty of them."
—What are the expectations?
"I know the coaching staff's goals haven't changed. I don't see any point in going to play if you don't think you have a chance. That's what competition is all about."
A look at the Pioneers
— Coach: Jay Hatch (20th season, 409-215)
— Last season: 17-14, 5-5 Western Big 6; lost to Riverdale, 50-45, in Class 2A regional semifinal
— Returning letterwinners: Srs.: Anne Bohnert (5-10, G/F), Abbey Johnson (5-4, G), Maddie McGuire (5-9, F), Zoe Kelso (6-0, F); Jrs.: Cierra Davis (5-7, G), Anna Wetherell (5-5, G)
— Newcomers: Jrs.: Dominique Davis (5-6, G), Karli Anderson (5-4, G), Billie Franks (5-6, G), Erin Morrisey (5-11, F); Sophs.: Isabelle Anderson (5-7, G), Daria Guzzo (5-10, F), Raven Wyatt (5-5, G)
— Schedule (All games 7, unless tournament or where noted): Nov. 13, 16, 17, 24 at Galesburg Thanksgiving Tournament; Nov. 20 at Rock Island; Nov. 29 at Moline; Dec. 1 Rock Falls, 2:30 p.m.; Dec. 3 Sherrard, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 6 United Township; Dec. 8 at Galesburg Winter Classic; Dec. 10 at Riverdale, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 13 at Quincy; Dec. 15 at Ridgewood, 1:30 p.m.; Dec. 26-29 at State Farm Holiday Classic; Jan. 3 at Galesburg; Jan. 5 at Iowa-Illinois Shootout; Jan. 10 Rock Island; Jan. 12, 19, 21 at Galesburg Winter Classic; Jan. 17 Moline; Jan. 24 at United Township; Jan. 29 Rockridge, 7:30 p.m.; Jan. 31 Quincy; Feb. 7 Galesburg
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