OSKALOOSA—The Oskaloosa Indians girls' basketball team has much to look forward to as they begin their new season. Head coach Jacie White said she is excited about many of the team’s improvements.
“The girls play really well together and are much more confident when they step on the court,” said White. “Part of that is more experience, and part of that is we have a really good group of girls that are buying in and working to get better. Our JV girls give us a great look in practice and are pushing to make the varsity better, and that is going to be a huge key for us to build our program. When the freshman and sophomores are pushing the upper-classmen and challenging them we get better from top to bottom, I get excited about our growth this year because of that.”
The Indians are feeling the impact of departing players who graduated after last season. Last year’s group of seniors helped establish a culture where no matter the adversity they face, the team must play hard. They did a great job of playing hard no matter the score, and that legacy should serve the team well this year as they face tough teams each night of their conference schedule.
White said the girls this year have stepped up to fill their respective roles offensively and defensively, and they’re playing with more confidence this year. That confidence has clearly helped them to be more effective on the offensive end of the floor.
Mary Nelson returns this season as a legitimate shooting threat. She does a great job of seeing the post inside and re-spotting for shots, so she feeds the posts very well. Amanda Fay will be a threat inside for the Indians and a big presence on the defensive end as well.
Jillian Jennings is going to play small forward and excels with good looks in transition, as well as defensively. Kaylee Johnson has really stepped up offensively. She is attacking well and feels more confident on the offensive end.
Macie Krier and Kenna Schaffner are going to be key for the Indians on the defensive end. They will be very active locking down players on defense, and they also give Oskaloosa another two effective shooters in offense.
The Indians will be looking for bench play to give them a spark, including Kenna Schaffner, Ashlee Smith and Brooke Allen. Each of those players comes in for a different role.
“It will be important for each of them to fill their roles in our offense and defense,” said White.
This year’s overall team offensive goals include becoming more offensive-minded and looking to score consistently, taking good shots within their skillset, and limiting turnovers while handling the ball against pressure. Defensive goals include being more sound defensively and executing better on the defensive end.
“If we execute on the offensive end by limiting turnovers as well as on the defensive end, we will put ourselves in a position to compete more effectively,” added White.
The Indians face Fairfield tonight for a road game matchup.