2011-12 Basketball: East Rowan girls basketball
By Sean Rinehart
GRANITE QUARRY ó After winning twice as many games during the 2010-11 season as it did the season prior, East Rowan girls basketball coach Danielle Porter is not ready to lower her expectations one bit.
ěYou canít go from zero to hero in one night,î said Porter. ěI hope we can continue our improvement and double our record from last year.î
With a varsity loaded with underclassman, Porter has a lot to be excited about.
ěI have a group of girls that have put in the time to make the progression and change peopleís attitudes about East Rowan basketball,î said Porter. ěI feel very positive about the direction of the program.î
This yearís lone senior is Carmen Lowe. With a great work ethic and strong commitment, Porter is looking forward to Lowe making an impact wherever she can.
ěShe has worked incredibly hard to develop her post moves and is a very strong vocal leader,î Porter said.
A strong junior class anchors the Mustangs. Lindsay Gobble, Steffi Sides, Jessica Rummage, Caroline Fry, Casey Gullett, Sydney Poole, and Bobbi Thomas head up a class that is full of athleticism, potential, and commitment.
Gobble, who spent last season on the jayvee squad, is a player who is full of ability, and Porter is happy to have her on the varsity this season.
ěLindsay has such a great attitude and work ethic. She is very coachable,î Porter said.
Sides may be the Mustangsí best all-around athlete. She is returning for her second year on varsity.
ěSteffi is our quickest athlete and has the highest vertical,î Porter said. ěShe is just an all-around great athlete. She can do anything she wants to do. She has the skill set and determination to be great at anything she wants.î
The other remaining juniors are returning with valuable experience from last season. Porter says Rummage has benefitted tremendously from the new, up-tempo offense that was installed last season.
ěJessica does a great job running the offense because she is a controlled. This is the type of offense that was made for her.î
Fry will be looked upon to provide some pivotal outside shooting this season. However, donít assume that it is all this talented junior can bring to the court each night.
ěWhile she is a great set- shooter, she has added some penetrating moves to her repertoire, making her more of a complete player,î says Porter.
All teams need players who specialize in hard-nosed, shut down style defense. Gullett will be that player to the Mustangs this season.
ěShe has incredible instincts, traps well, and is a versatile player both in the post and on the wing,î Porter said.
Poole, Eastís second leading scorer last season (6.5 ppg.), will be a valuable asset to the offense.
ěShe has an extremely quick first step that can beat defenders along with a good shot,î Porter says.
Thomas will be a key contributor in the post. ěBobbi puts herself in great position all the time,î says Porter. ěShe has gotten even stronger and truly makes us better.î
The Mustangs have three sophomores. Porter is thrilled about the impact that Kendall Brown, Karleigh Wike, and Lauren Thomas will make each and every night they take the court.
Brown, like Rummage, will be used at point guard in order to make her high-speed offense work effectively.
ěShe is very nimble, keeps her head up, and sees the floor well,î said Porter.
The coach had nothing but praise for her potential star center Wike, who stands 6-foot-3.
ěShe has improved tremendously and is a true on-the-floor leader for our team,î says Porter. ěKarleigh was truly our most valuable player from last season other than Olivia Sabo.î
Wike has high expectations for herself and the program, and that is why she put in the time and effort to improve in every facet of the game.
ěShe has improved her vertical, so expect a lot more blocked shots than last year,î said Porter.
Thomas has also worked hard to improve her game.
ěLauren has done everything she could to improve her conditioning,î says Porter. ëShe rebounds very well for a guard and will really add something positive to our team dynamic.î
The only freshman is Kelli Fisher. She will provide some added depth in the post.
ěKelli is a compliment to all of our post players,î Porter said. ěShe has extremely soft hands and a great shot. I am excited to watch her develop.î
Assisting Porter this season will be Amanda Paffrath. A star collegiate basketball player at Pfeiffer University, Paffrath was once a coach for the Mustangs before she took time off to have her son.
ěAmanda is an extremely valuable asset to us this season. Her knowledge of the game is incredible, and she is just a great person to have on the staff,î says Porter.
Look for Mustangs to turn some heads and make some noise throughout the 2011-12 campaign.
ěWe are going to just let the upcoming season speak for itself,î says Porter.