Lady ‘Dogs ready for season’s start
November 26, 2001
By ELWOOD K. SHELTON
Daily Press writer
The game of basketball has become a balancing act for coach Craig Mortensen.
The coach is in the process of moving the Lady Bulldogs from a guard-led scoring system, to one that will rely heavily on the post as well.
In years past, the guards have been the leading scorers for the Lady Bulldogs, with graduated senior Emily Mortensen leading the Class 4A players from the point guard position.
This year, with three of his seniors returning to post positions, the perimeter-happy Lady ‘Dogs will spread the court, and see more action under the net.
Seniors Katie Telfer, Jessica Norman and Ashliegh Gregg all return with extensive varsity experience at post, and will be complemented with two returning guards junior Laurel Mortensen and senior Amber Sanchez.
The Lady Bulldogs had their first chance to see how well the transition would work and whether their guards were unselfish enough to allow the big girls under the net the chance to score during three scrimmages on Saturday in Buena Vista.
“It’s going to take some time to get the girls use to feeding the posts, because the last few years we’ve been so guard oriented,” Mortensen said. “We’ll still see a lot of scoring from the outside because we’ve still have got good guards, but we need to get the post more points.”
It is not known how productive the posts were in Buena Vista when they faced Swink, Monta Vista and Buena Vista, because score is not kept in preseason scrimmages. But, Mortensen was pleased with what he saw from his whole team.
One of the most surprising points of the scrimmages for the coach was the ability of some of his younger players to step up to the varsity system, because three projected starters were absent Saturday.
Seniors Sanchez and Charlotte Steele and junior Kate Schafer did not make Buena Vista because of the Thanksgiving Holiday, but a number of junior varsity players stepped in, and stepped up.
“The JVers did a great job in the scrimmage,” Mortensen said. “Steph Brown and Amanda Tomlinson stepped in, and did fine just to name a few.”
The main reason for playing the scrimmage was to get a better idea of the Lady ‘Dogs personnel, and to see what modifications need to be done before Saturday’s season opening Unitah Tournament in Vernal, Utah.
The small mistakes that Mortensen saw in the scrimmage were out-weighed by the recall of the girls who were able to fit right back into the system, which makes the coach confident that his team is ready for the season.
“We’re only four practices away from being ready,” he said.
His team holds an equal amount of optimism about the impending season and after the scrimmage, all feel the itch to play.
“It was good to get the feel of the game back after Saturday’s scrimmage,” Telfer said. “Everyone has pulled together, and has put out a lot of effort, which should start us out well in season.”