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By LARRY GOFFINET
TELL CITY—Bill Dickerson started his basketball head coaching career with Oakland City University’s men’s team and later coached Perry Central’s boys and girls teams before retiring from coaching last spring.
John Hayes also started his basketball head coaching career with Oakland City University’s men, later coached Tell City’s boys eight years, and is the new Tell City girls head coach.
So he has now joined Dickerson in the rare feat of coaching varsity teams at three different levels.
Dickerson left Oakland City before Hayes got there, but “I used to hear some of the older fans at the Double D Diner say that pound for pound, he was one of the best players they’d ever seen,” Hayes said before his team’s practice Tuesday. “So any time you can be in a group with Bill, that’s probably a pretty big honor.”
Official high school girls basketball practices started less than two weeks ago, but Hayes said so far “I’ve enjoyed it more than I ever did coaching boys.
“It just seems to me that the girls are more responsive to coaching. Most girls don’t see themselves as superstars or know-it-alls.”
Other than the size of the basketball, high school boys and girls play by the same rules. But there are some differences in coaching them.
During Tuesday’s practice, Hayes told his players, “I don’t want to see set shots—jump.” That’s something he probably never had to tell his boys teams.
He also reminded his girls, “You can’t be nice on defense—pester them.”
Regardless of which level he coaches, he likes to play man-to-man defense. But asked if this team is quick enough to play it nearly all the time, he said, “I don’t know. Today we’re going to start working on 2-3 and 3-2 zones. And we’ve talked a little about using a 1-3-1.
“I think we’re going to have to switch things up every couple of possessions.”
He does have some quickness on the team, including track star Logan Flannagan, the only returning starter from last year.
“We’re going to try to use a Kansas break thing a little bit,” said Hayes.
He also wants to use more of the high-low post offense that John Lyons started using with Hayes’ daughters, McKenzie and Kassidie, last year.
McKenzie graduated so Hayes plans to put Flannagan at the high post in the high-low though she nearly always played on the wing in the past.
“The way Logan’s been shooting at the top, she’ll create problems for the defense,” said John Hayes.