Few expected Edinburgh to win a girls basketball sectional last season. The Lancers themselves may have even been a bit surprised.
Armed with the knowledge that they can reach that goal, though, the girls have higher expectations heading into this winter.
“It kind of just made us realize what we could actually do,” said senior Allie Schooler, who led the Lancers in scoring last season at 10.6 points per game and is also the top returning rebounder.
If Edinburgh is to build on its postseason success, though, it’s going to have to do so in a different way. The team’s two main post players, Mariah Weddle and Kayli Littiken, have graduated, so the Lancers will be playing with smaller lineups.
Head coach Amy Schilling doesn’t seem fazed. She acknowledges that some adjustments will have to be made at the defensive end, but she thinks her team can create matchup problems for opponents.
“We lost some of our size with Weddle and Littiken,” she said, “but I think we’ll be faster and probably a little bit more athletic this year.”
Schooler and classmate Bri Howard (8.8 ppg) give the Lancers a solid foundation offensively, and Schilling expects increased production out of junior Vanessa McManaway and sophomores Sidney Beier and Taylor Tatlock.
And while the coach didn’t want to name names just yet, she’s expecting contributions from as many as four or five freshmen. The youngsters, Schilling believes, should provide a depth that Edinburgh rarely enjoys.
“We have a lot of players that can step up and play varsity now,” she stated. “They’re not scared to compete. They don’t act like freshmen.”
The Lancers went into the tournament last season with an 8-14 record. The expectation is that making it to the regional will springboard them to a better regular season — particularly in the Mid-Hoosier Conference, where Edinburgh went just 3-6 and “has never really done well,” according to Schooler.
If that changes this year, it won’t come as nearly as much of a surprise.
Coach: Amy Schilling
Last year: 10-15 (3-6 Mid-Hoosier Conference); won Morristown Sectional, lost to Tindley in Class A regional semifinal
Who’s back: Sidney Beier, Mary Franklin, Kenzie Hill, Bri Howard, Vanessa McManaway, Allie Schooler, Abi Scrogham, Taylor Tatlock
Who’s gone: Vanessa Hoskins, Kayli Littiken, Megan Rooks, Mariah Weddle, Emma Westerfeld
New kids on the block: None
Outlook: The Lancers peaked at the right time a year ago, following up a pedestrian regular season with a run to a sectional championship. The hope is that this unit can start producing wins a little earlier in the season. Edinburgh will need to replace its two leading rebounders, but leading scorers Schooler and Howard are back and the depth around them is improved. It remains to be seen how the smaller lineups will hold up in the Mid-Hoosier Conference, but Schilling is optimistic.
Schilling says: “I definitely think we’re going to be looking to more of a pressing — defensive pressure, getting up and down the court, getting a lot of shots up. I think we’ll be a lot quicker … and that’s going to be the big thing.”
Nov. 1;at Indianapolis Metropolitan;6 p.m.
Nov. 8;Indianapolis Lutheran;7:30 p.m.
Nov. 11;Shelbyville;7:30 p.m.
Nov. 15-19;Johnson County tournament (at Edinburgh);TBA
Nov. 23;at North Decatur;7:30 p.m.
Nov. 26;at Medora;12:30 p.m.
Nov. 29;Oldenburg Academy;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 1;at Eminence;6 p.m.
Dec. 8;Greenwood Christian Academy, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 10;at Milan;12:30 p.m.
Dec. 13;at Hauser;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 30;Edinburgh Holiday Tournament;TBA
Jan. 4;at Indian Creek;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 7;at Speedway;1:30 p.m.
Jan. 11;at Indian Creek;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12;Crothersville;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 14;at Morristown;12:30 p.m.
Jan. 17;South Decatur;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 20;at Southwestern (Shelby);7:30 p.m.
Jan. 24;at Waldron;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 26;at Trinity Lutheran;7:30 p.m.