Eagle girls team has unfinished business
One goal remains: Play in championship.
It’s the perfect basketball recipe for success: speed, experience, skill and depth.
Brady’s girls have used that combination the past two years to land themselves in the state tournament.
The Eagles finished last season with a 21-6 record and a No. 4 state rating.
Minus two seniors from last year’s squad, coach Lance Arterburn said the Eagles have already set their sights on another trip to Lincoln.
At the same time, opponents will be gunning to upset the Eagles.
“We’re hearing a lot of buzz,” Arterburn said. “I’m sure every team is going to give us 100% and the girls have got to be ready to handle that.”
So far, the coaches haven’t had to come up with ways to keep the kids motivated or focused.
“These kids have had a great run all through high school,” the coach said, “but they’re not satisfied yet.”
Getting back to state won’t be enough to fulfill the goal Brady’s three seniors are determined to achieve.
“They want that next step,” Arterburn said. “The seniors really want to finish their careers by playing in the championship game.”
Shooting has improved for the up-tempo offense and continued stingy pressure defense will likely keep the Eagles on the run.
“We want to push the tempo but we are also going to have to keep our turnovers under control,” the coach said.
Depth will help the Eagles keep the speed dial turned up.
“We will play nine or 10 kids every game,” he said. “Talent-wise, I’m confident we can do that.”
The Eagles start with a tough schedule right out of the gate, opening with Wauneta-Palisade at home Friday.
Brady defeated the Broncos on a last-second shot to get to state last year and Arterburn expects a dogfight.
A scrappy Paxton team and Hitchcock County, which has an all-state player in Laramey Lewis, are also on the schedule before Christmas break.
The Eagles are likely the favorites in the Sandhills Conference, Arterburn said with Sandhills and Mullen also at the top.
Ansley will be the tough opponent in the D2-9 sub-district with Anselmo-Merna, Sumner-Eddyville-Miller and Eustis-Farnam.
“We’re going to win some games with our athletic ability,” Arterburn said, “but we’re going to have to become perfectionists to take that final step. It’s going to take the little things to get where we want to go.”
Tipoff for Friday’s game is set for 6 p.m. followed by the varsity boys.
Members of the 2011-12 Brady girls basketball team are (*denotes letter winner):
SENIORS—Maggie Burke*, Megan Polt*, Courtney Widick*.
JUNIORS—Brittney Christophersen*, Mikaela Eckholt, Molly Hannon*, Krista Kleinow, Dakota Terry*.
SOPHOMORES—Taylor Bourge, Lexi Franzen, Alexis Mann, Valerie Most*, Jamie Norton, Carissa Rayburn*, Dusk Sabin, Sydney Widick*.
FRESHMEN—Autumn Hild, Shaylin McClellen, Josie Palmer, Desiray Stryker.