Cannelton girls team has more quickness

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By Larry Goffinet

CANNELTON - Jeff Miller, starting his fourth year as Cannelton's girls basketball coach, said Monday this team has the most quickness and depth he's had.

The Bulldogs have nine players, the same number they started last season with. But while they had some basketball beginners last year, this year "they all can play," said Miller.

The team's one senior, three juniors and one sophomore all lettered last year. And three of the four freshmen played for last year's 19-3 junior high team.

Miller said last year his team had "a lot of speed." But with the addition of quick freshman guards Sarah Powers and Payton Reed he said this year's squad is "the quickest I've had by far."

He said Powers and Reed could join junior Nakaa Myers in a three-guard starting lineup, though junior Whitney Nugent is also "fighting for a starting spot at guard."

Miller expects to use a three-guard lineup because the team again has no true center, with no one taller than 5-foot-7.

Senior Brooke Powers and junior Jaci Garrett will start at forward. Chelsea Johns and Sammie James will be the frontline reserves.

Myers was the team's leading scorer last year at 7.3 points per game. Garrett's 2.7-point average is next best among the returnees and she led the team in rebounding at 5.6 per game.

Miller plans to run "motion, flex and some different cut-type offenses."

He also hopes to generate some offense with pressure defense. "We'll press more than ever with our quickness and depth."

In the halfcourt the Bulldogs "will have to play some matchup zone with our (lack of) size," said Miller. "I'd love to play some man-to-man, though."

Asked how the defense looks overall, he said, "Like everything, it's going to take some time. But I think they've come a long way already."

He said rebounding is also "something we're going to have to work hard on, with our size."

He would also like to see the Bulldogs "learn more patience" on offense than they showed in their preseason jamboree at Crawford County.

But with the quickness and depth at guard, ball-handling "is one thing that's impressed me most," said Miller.

He thinks the Bulldogs can improve on last year's 3-17 record and contend for the Class A sectional title.

"(Defending champion) Wood Memorial is not going to have the height like they've had the last couple of years. Tecumseh will be pretty decent--they're probably the favorite. But it's more wide open than it's been since I've been here."