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Preble Shawnee is standing tall
J. C. Tilton

Coach Deannah Bair has had great participation this summer. During the offseason the girls played in a summer league as well as attended open gyms. Nearly 100% of the girls playing varsity were working out with the team. 4-5 girls played AAU and 2 girls participated in a fall league. According to coach Bair about 85% of the girls play 3 sports, so attendance in fall open gyms was light. Still the coach is pleased in the teams off season participation.

When asked about the teams strengths going into the season, Coach Bair was happy to have varsity experience coming back. Last season she only had 2 varsity players coming back, this year she has 4 varsity players returning and feels that she has “10 strong players on the team“. She is looking for guards Allie Klapper and Stephanie Speessen to contribute, as well as post players Courtney Wolf, Amber Johnson, and Brittany Hayes. Another plus is overall team size. As a group the team has good overall height, there are a couple of girls around 6 foot and several around 5‘ 10“ - 5‘9“. Things that the team is working to improve is turnovers. “At times last season, it felt like we would turn over the ball 3 times before we could get a shot.” So improved guard play is a must. She also wants the team to look in the post - feed the ball inside and get the high percentage shot. Finally the team seemed to be slow starting out several times last season. They would get behind early, but then have a good second half, but not strong enough to get the win. So she wants the team to put two good halves together.

Goals for coach Bair's second season, is to finish over .500. And win that first tournament game. She would like to see the team become competitive with league powerhouses Oakwood and Bellbrook. Keys for this season: The team will come back knowing coach Bair's system this winter. They have enough overall team height to be able to dominate in the paint against most teams. Can the guards improve their play from last season? If no one can pass the ball into the post, then the team's height advantage will become less valuable. Look for the team to improve their record from last season against tough opponents in the “big school” division of the SWBL.


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