Tell City girls team sports tall frontline

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Sports Editor

TELL CITY—Tell City’s girls basketball team has plenty of height but little experience, so how the guard play comes along will be a key for the Marksmen.
Forward Logan Flannagan is the only senior on the 15-girl roster and the only returning starter.
Kassie Hayes, a 6-foot junior center-forward who was the first player off the bench last year, is the only other one with much varsity experience.
They will probably be joined in the starting lineup for Friday’s season opener by 5-10 junior center Taylor Gentry and 5-7 sophomore guards Brenee Leibering and Celina Snyder, the top two scorers on last year’s JV team.
Emma Kohnert, a 5-11 freshman forward, could crack the starting lineup later, said Coach John Hayes.
Sophomore forward Monica Bartley and junior guard Mariah Blake will be other key reserves.
Flannagan, a 5-foot-9 track high jumper, averaged 5.2 rebounds per game last year and Hayes averaged 4.2. So John Hayes thinks the team’s rebounding “is going to be pretty tough because of our height.”
He also thinks the team will be able to score well inside. Hayes and Gentry are the main low-post threats and Flannagan “can do a nice job down there as well.”
Hayes hit 56.9 percent from the field last year, third best in team history.
As for driving, “Brenee does a pretty nice job with that and so does Logan when she decides to go to the basket,” the coach said. “And I’m pretty impressed so far with Emma on that.”
But the perimeter shooting is “a work in progress,” Hayes said. “Celina and Brenee have the capabilities.
“Logan’s shooting the ball really well. Kassie has range up to 15-16 feet now, and I think Emma has a chance to be a pretty decent shooter.”
Flannagan averaged 7.5 points per game last year though she took only 5.5 shots per game from the field.
Hayes is also concerned about “ball-handling—just being able to get the ball where it needs to be.”
With inexperienced guards, he plans to have Flannagan and Kohnert help out as primary ball-handlers quite a bit.
Hayes plans to use a high-low post offense frequently, with Kassidie Hayes and Gentry in the low post and Flannagan at the high post.
He will also use “some 1-4 stuff I ran with the guys and some flex just to get some motion going.”
Flannagan has played mostly on the wing in the past but has adapted well to the high-post area, said Hayes.
Hayes wants to play mostly man-to-man defense but will also use a variety of zones.
He said the team’s quickness “is pretty decent. Brenee’s quicker than snot. Celina’s quick. Logan’s up there too and Mariah’s very quick too. And Kassie has got some quickness.”
Quickness helps on defense, but since the team has not played together long, “team defense-wise we’ve got to get better,” said Hayes. But “we’ve got the components.”
He said Flannagan “is our best on-the-ball defender” and Blake can also be a defensive stopper.
Tell City finished 11-11 overall last year and tied for fifth in the nine-team PAC at 4-4.
Hayes said North Posey is the conference favorite because “they have basically everybody back. And I think Gibson Southern will be very good.
“After those two, I think it depends on whose players come around quickest.  If our guard play comes around, I think we have a chance to be very competitive in the conference and sectional.”
With defending sectional champion Mater Dei’s having moved up to Class 3A, Hayes said, “I think it is obviously winnable for anybody in it.
“Again for us to do anything in that sectional we’ve got to be able to handle the basketball.”