With only one senior, experience is not a strength for the Franklin Community High School girls basketball team.
Or is it?
What the Grizzly Cubs lack in seniors they make up for with a trove of juniors and sophomores who have significant varsity experience.
Little wonder coach Walt Raines, who’s in his 28th season with the Cubs, likes their chances of contending for conference and sectional championships.
“These kids have played a lot since they were freshmen,” Raines said. “They’ve played a lot of minutes the past two or three years. They’ve got experience. They know what to do.
“It’s just a matter of going out there and executing those things on the floor.”
Leading the way is 5-foot-8 senior guard Maci Eads, a four-year starter and an honorable mention All-County selection last season. Experience and versatility are among her chief qualities.
“Maci gives us some leadership out there, because she has been there for four years,” Raines said. “She’s a hard worker. She’s a kid that understands the importance of team, and she’ll do a lot of things for us.”
So will juniors Cami Cochrane, Allison Barnard, Delanie Hill and McKenna Bertsch and sophomore Sarah Sullivan. All but Sullivan have starting experience, and each is expected to either start or play starter’s minutes off the bench.
Cochrane, another honorable mention All-County selection last season, is a 5-6 guard. Hill is a 5-7 guard, Bertsch is a 5-2 guard, and Sullivan is a 5-5 point guard who is expected to start. Barnard, the Cubs’ tallest player, is a 6-2 center.
Raines is confident the Cubs’ combination of speed, skills, athleticism and experience will pay dividends at both ends of the floor.
“I think we’ll be able to pressure people and put a lot of pressure on the basketball,” he said. “I think a big strength for us will be Allison Barnard. She’s really come a long way.
“We just need to keep her healthy, and I think she could really dominate for us.”
Franklin also expects contributions from junior guards Anjie Amin and Tiffany Ford and sophomore Maya Elliott, a 5-11 forward.
Amin is a returning letter winner. Ford and Elliott are first-year varsity players.
In light of their experience and versatility, the Cubs are confident of not only improving on last year’s 9-14 record but contending for Mid-State Conference, Johnson County Tournament and sectional championships.
Franklin suffered a narrow 52-48 defeat against Greenwood in the first round of last year’s sectional. The Cubs will be older, wiser and sharper this time around.
“I think we will be very competitive with every team on our schedule,” Raines said. “We should be able to compete for conference, county and sectional titles.”
Tuesday;Mt. Vernon (Fortville);
Saturday;Covenant Christian;7:30 p.m.
Nov. 11;at Brebeuf;7:30 p.m.
Nov. 13;Greensburg;7:30 p.m.
Nov. 17;County at Center Grove;TBA
Nov. 24;Center Grove;6 p.m.
Dec. 3;Beech Grove;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 5;at Decatur Central;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 10;at Bloomington North;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 12;Plainfield;1:30 p.m.
Dec. 18;at Greenwood;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 19;Shelbyville;6 p.m.
Dec. 29;Southport;2:30 p.m.
Jan. 2;Franklin Tournament;TBA
Jan. 5;at Bloomington South;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 8;Mooresville;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12;at Columbus North;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 14;Perry Meridian;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 23;Whiteland;1:30 p.m.
Jan. 26;at Martinsville;7:30 p.m.