Monday, October 20, 2014

Central Heights girls return bevy of experience

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 11/22/2013

The Central Heights High School girls basketball team has playing experience and is used to playing with each other.

A year ago, that was just the opposite and it led to a slow 0-6 start. The Vikings rebounded to finish at 10-11.

The Central Heights High School girls basketball team has playing experience and is used to playing with each other.

A year ago, that was just the opposite and it led to a slow 0-6 start. The Vikings rebounded to finish at 10-11.

“I told everybody it would be a process,” Central Heights coach Scott Lane said. “It was. It was the most rewarding season because we went 10-5 after that. We really grew from 0-6.”

Now, he expects to grow more with all five starters returning plus two others that have been in the program.

“We graduated one out of our top six,” Lane said. “We have all five returning starters. We can take that core and grow, We have to take the next step. Our goal is to get better every practice.”

This group learned a lot last year, especially in the early going.

“We learned how to play defense,” Lane said. “That was the big difference in everything. Now we have 41 games under our belt going into this year. You can tell. Summer basketball helped us a lot. They are talking on defense.

“I don’t have to teach plays. They know the entire play book. You don’t have to review every single thing. We get to move on. We are in a much better spot than last year. If we can start off at least .500 by Christmas I like our chances.”

One big asset is the way the girls approach the game with their brain.

“We have a lot intelligence, intangibles ... things like that,” Lane said. “We are not the most athletic team, but we make up for it by being smart. Our average grade point average is 3.8, 3.9. When you have smart girls, it makes up for a lot of stuff.”

The returning starters are Regan Markley, Brianna Erhart, Sydney Meyer, Kenzie Hayward and Whitney Kraus. Two others with experience in the program are Tami Schafer and McKenna Furst.

“Seniors Whitney Kraus and Kenzie Hayward have really developed a lot,” Lane said. “Sydney Meyer has improved a lot.”

Junior Erhart took over the team at point guard last year.

“She was the engine that drove everything,” Lane said. “She went from no playing time to averaging 12 points a game. She works hard. She has developed her left hand. We got a good base with six or seven [back]. We have a decent freshmen class.”

The Pioneer League race could be wide open.

“Everybody will be young,” Lane said. “It is anybody’s game. We are as good as anybody. We are just as talented. There are 20 other teams out there. Who is working harder?”

Central Heights opens the season Dec. 6 at Prairie View. The Vikings then return home for three games in the Ike Cearfoss Tournament, which runs Dec. 9 through Dec. 14.

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