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Allen hoping that team speed can help Lady Bulldogs produce lots of victories

Though largely inexperienced, Bearden’s 2003-04 Lady Bulldogs basketball team hopes to translate quickness into points.

“Our biggest strength is probably quickness,” BHS head coach Jennifer Allen said. “We can get the ball down the floor, we have good ballhandlers. We want to push the ball down the floor.

“This year we hope to get more easy baskets,” Allen added. “We’re going to score a lot off our quickness.”

Attempting to take full advantage of that quickness, Allen said her Lady Bulldogs will apply more defensive pressure, “and will press more, hopefully.”

In addition to limited experience — only one starter returns from last season — “our outside shooting is always a concern,” Allen said. “We shot about 20, 25 percent at the most, from the field last year. We played good defense, we just couldn’t get the ball in the hoop. That’s always a concern.

“We’re still young, we only have two seniors,” Allen added, “and we have only one starter back from last year.”

Forward Ashley Blue (5-foot-9), who had never played varsity high school basketball before last year, is the only returning starter.

But top reserves Sarah Himmelreich, a 5-foot-9 sophomore post, and Joy Spaulding, a 5-foot-3 senior point guard, also have lots of game-time experience. Himmelreich will start at power forward (four), but is versatile enough to play the small forward (three) position. When on the court with Himmelreich, Blue will be at the five spot.

“Ashley is strong offensively, she’s quick and rebounds well,” Allen said. “She’s going to be a player this year.” Ashley and Sarah are probably going to be our biggest scorers. Joy can also play either the two or the three.”

Senior Rachel Hodge (5-foot-6), who saw some varsity time last year, will start at the “three spot.” Allen labels junior Nicole Austin (5-foot-4) as a “good shooter who played some for us last year, but not a whole lot.” Austin is projected to start at shooting guard.

Junior post Nina Carter (5-foot-10), standout midfielder on Eric Turner’s Lady SoccerDawg team, has never played high school basketball at any level, but Allen hopes Carter can use her size and strength near the basket. “She’ll give us size, bump ‘em some in the middle,” Allen said. “She’s a pretty good offensive player as well.”

Freshman point guard Allysia Bailey (5-foot-2) is expected to see playing time behind Spaulding.

Allen said junior shooting guard/small forward Jennifer Walker (5-foot-6) “is a pretty good defensive player” who could see important playing time. “She’s not a great offensive threat, but she hustles and gets a lot done.”

Other Lady Bulldogs hoping to contribute are junior post Judy Johnson, sophomore forwards Dani Barnes and Amity Mulvey, and sophomore guard Kristen Osterman.

Assistant coaches: Rayanne Fancher and Kim Sanders.


Despite the challenges of inexperience and unproven outside shooting, “we hope to be a contender in every game,” Allen said about the District 4-AAA race.
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