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Bulldogs lack height, depth again this year

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By LARRY GOFFINET
Sports Editor

CANNELTON—It’s a familiar story for Cannelton’s girls basketball this year: The team has some talent but lacks height and depth.
There are only six players on the team and one is a freshman with limited junior high experience. And no player is taller than 5-foot-71⁄2.
But the Bulldogs return three players who started in the Class A sectional championship game last year for a team that went 15-7, tying the second best record in school history.
Even though Sarah Powers, the leading scorer from that team graduated, the Bulldogs still have some good shooters.
Junior guard Mikah Hemmings averaged 13.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.9 steals per game, led the team in three-point shooting at 31.5 percent, and hit 65.1 percent at the free-throw line.
She hit 5 of 7 three-point shots and scored a game-high 23 points in the 50-43 sectional championship loss to Tecumseh.
Senior Allicyn Garrett, who will have to play center this year after playing forward last year, averaged 5.7 points and 5.7 rebounds last year. Coach Mike Garrett wants her to look to score more this year.
Senior forward Taylor Lawalin averaged 4.8 points and hit 31.0 percent from three-point range in 12 games with the Bulldogs last year after spending the first semester at Perry Central, where she was limited to JV play.
Sophomore guard Melissa Clausen joins the starting lineup after being the first or second player off the bench last year.
She averaged 1.3 points per game and hit 44.0 percent from two-point range.
Mollie Ingle, a sophomore who was on Tell City’s JV team last year, will start at forward.
Freshman Paige Reynolds will be the team’s only reserve. “She’s really raw,” said Mike Garrett.
That lack of depth means the Bulldogs probably won’t press much, Garrett said. The press forced a lot of turnovers that led to easy baskets for the Bulldogs last year.
Garrett is also concerned about the ball-handling. Hemmings is a good ball-handler and will play the point most of the time, but putting her there “takes away from her moving without the ball to get open,” said Garrett.
“She shoots really well off the dribble, though. We’ll do a lot of high pick-and-rolls. We’ll also try to run a little bit of motion offense.”
To get Hemmings off the ball some, Lawalin “ran the point a little bit Saturday and Melissa didn’t do too bad,” Garrett said.
Garrett thinks shooting will be the team’s main strength. “We shot real well Saturday (outscoring Crawford County 28-6 in two quarters in a preseason jamboree).”
Allicyn Garrett and Ingle could provide some inside scoring. “Mollie’s got pretty good hands (for catching the ball in the post),” said Mike Garrett.
Mike Garrett said the Bulldogs also “rebounded pretty well Saturday. We blocked out pretty well.”
The lack of depth means the Bulldogs will play mostly 3-2 of 1-2-2 zone defenses. “We may try to play man-to-man a little bit here and there—just pick our spots,” said Garrett.
He said the Bulldogs are “not very quick” overall, though “Mikah’s quick and Melissa can run like a deer.”
In their sectional “we match up pretty well with Wood Memorial and I think we can play with Tecumseh,” said Garrett. But Northeast Dubois, a newcomer to the sectional (replacing New Harmony, whose school closed), “is going to be a handful.
“Our main goal is a .500 record for the year. Then we’ll worry about the sectional when it gets here.”