JASONVILLE -- Despite losing five seniors from last year's 13-10 squad that was second in the Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference, the Shakamak High School girls basketball coach is optimistic about his 2012-13 squad.
"We lost five seniors that were part of the winningest class ever for Shakamak girls basketball," said Troy Fougerousse. "They did a lot of our scoring and ball handling.
"But we have five girls that have started some for us in the past. Some of them will be asked to play different roles or be expected to do so, but it's not like we don't have girls that don't have some varsity experience."
Kelsey Pilant will again be playing in the front court for the Lady Lakers. The 6-2 senior scored 7.7 points per game on average, with a high game of 16.
"This will be Kelsey's third year starting for us," said Fougerousse. "She is a senior and we will be expecting a lot out of her.
"She can do a lot of different things on both ends of the court. She gives us both size and experience."
Megan Phipps is another senior returning with experience.
"This is Megan's third year of playing and second year in the starting line-up," Fougerousse said of Phipps, who scored 5.2 points per game as she played in all 23 games for the Lady Lakers a season ago. "We will need her to score more for us this year.
"She has the capability to play the 2, 3 and 4 for us."
Kelsey Fulford appeared in 20 games in 2011-12 and averaged 2.0 points per game.
"Kelsey is a senior that we list as a forward, but also can play some guard for us," said Fougerousse. "We are going to ask her to step up her game as a senior."
Casey Reynolds is a senior guard playing basketball for the first time. Fougerousse said she works hard in practice and is a smart kid.
"We are trying to get her up to speed," he said.
Jerri Beck is the lone junior in the SHS program.
The 6-0 forward/center averaged 1.2 points in 19 varsity games a year ago.
"Jerri is going to play in the post with Pilant," said Fougerousse. "She played both junior varsity and varsity last year, but will be playing only varsity this year.
"She is one of our girls that will have a completely different role. She will be asked to step up to being a full-time varsity player."
Sierra Hudson, who made 22 appearances on the varsity and scored 4.0 points per game, is a sophomore that will be asked to be the Lady Lakers main ball handler in the backcourt, according to Fougerousse.
"Sierra will strictly be varsity this season," Fougerousse said. "We need her to make that adjustment to playing full-time varsity minutes."
Kelsey Samm did not play basketball as a freshman.
"Kelsey played in elementary and junior high, but not last year," said Fougerousse. "Hopefully she will be able to adapt to playing on this level.
"We will need her to contribute."
Kierra Samm is a 6-1 freshman who will be playing both junior varsity and varsity, according to the coach.
Kayla Gallagher is a 5-9 freshman, who will be asked to help on the varsity this season, especially offensively.
Cassie Beck, Jerri's sister, is playing basketball for the first time.
Megan Mattox, Diamond Hinkle and Kimberly Kaho are three freshmen who will be helping the Lady Lakers field a junior varsity team.
"We were thinking we might only have 12 girls, but we ended up with 15," said Fougerousse. "That includes a couple of foreign exchange students (Federica Arena and Marie Fischer), who can help us on the jv.
"We are very happy that our young players will get a chance to develop their skills playing junior varsity."
Shakamak has been Class A Sectional runner-up the past three seasons.
"Clay City has been really good the last three years," said Fougerousse. "They lost a lot of good seniors, but they will still be good, but not likely as good.
"I think both the conference and sectional will both be wide open this year. Most everybody has improved."
Fougerousse said their schedule has improved with Martinsville and Terre Haute North, who they added a year ago.
"We don't really worry about wins and losses," said Fougerousse. "We want the chance to play really good schools, no matter what class they are.
"We believe that will help us to be playing our best basketball as we get ready for the tournament at the end of the year. We have always had good kids here and I think it will be about the same this year. We are young, but have some experience. We just want to improve every day and every day and hope to make a run at a sectional title."
SHAKAMAK HIGH SCHOOL
GIRLS BASKETBALL ROSTER
Coach: Troy Fougerousse (40-51, four seasons)
Assistant coaches: B.A. Shipman, Kirk Buckley
SHAKAMAK LADY LAKERS
|Nov. 6||at Vincennes Rivet||6 p.m.|
|Nov. 10||Martinsville||6 p.m.|
|Nov. 13||at Clay City||6 p.m.|
|Nov. 17||White River Valley||6 p.m.|
|Nov. 20||at Bloomfield||6 p.m.|
|Nov. 27||at Barr-Reeve||6 p.m.|
|Nov. 29||North Central||6 p.m.|
|Dec. 4||Riverton Parke||6 p.m.|
|Dec. 8||Edgewood||11 p.m.|
|Dec. 11||at Sullivan||6 p.m.|
|Dec. 13||Linton-Stockton||6 p.m.|
|Dec. 18||at Terre Haute North||6 p.m.|
|Jan. 3||West Vigo||6 p.m.|
|Jan. 8||North Daviess||6 p.m.|
|Jan. 12||at Tecumseh||1:30 p.m.|
|Jan. 15||Washington Catholic||6 p.m.|
|Jan. 17||at Eastern Greene||6 p.m.|
|Jan. 21||at Union||6 p.m.|
|Jan. 24||at Eminence||6 p.m.|
|Jan. 29||Cloverdale||6 p.m.|