Grizzly Cubs have more height but still plan to utilize quickness


STEVE McCLURE | FOR THE DAILY JOURNAL Guard Kylie Whittington is among the top returning players for the Franklin girls basketball team.

During Walt Raines’ previous 24 seasons coaching the Franklin girls basketball team, the Grizzly Cubs’ rosters mostly featured small, fast guards.

But this year’s squad is anything but typical.

“We’re a totally different look of a team,” Raines said. “We’re going to have a lot of size this year, which is something we haven’t had in the past.”

Class 4A Franklin will start three players at least 6 feet tall and returns six letter-winners from last season’s 12-10 campaign.

Although the Cubs will utilize their height with a new emphasis on the post, Raines said Franklin would continue to play a familiar brand of basketball.

“We’re still going to come out and play hard. We’re still going to come out and defend hard and do the things we do,” he said. “We’ll just have to adjust how we approach the game. We were always quicker before. So we’ll just look to attack more in the post.”

Leading the battle in the paint will be 6-foot-1 senior center Kylie Whittington, 6-foot junior forward Vanessa Kinsey and 6-foot-1 freshman forward Whitney Shapp.

Junior Tara Parmer, a 5-foot-4 point guard, and senior Sara VanDeman, a 5-foot-7 shooting guard, return to make up Franklin’s starting backcourt.

Coming off the bench will be returning seniors Danielle Phair and Jayme Vance, and returning sophomore Julia Smith.

Senior Bailey Johnson, junior Brooke Pleak and freshman Maci Eads also will compete for minutes.

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