For the complete 2012-13 Hancock County Girls Basketball Preview, which includes schedules, predictions, stat leaders, polls and more, pick up a copy of Thursday's Daily Reporter. The paper is available at the Daily Reporter office, 22 W. New Road, Greenfield.
NEW PALESTINE – The New Palestine Dragons are building a foundation.
They might be the youngest girls basketball team in the state – the likely varsity roster includes one senior, four sophomores and five freshmen, none of whom have any significant varsity experience.
But the pieces are there to build a strong foundation as third-year head coach Jacki Negri has a team with a combination of size and athleticism, if not experience. All seven rotation players from the 2011-12 team that finished second in the HHC have moved on, including two – Bethany Murrell and Tori Stephenson – to college basketball.
It provides an opportunity to teach and build – and see incremental growth.
“We are starting all over with this group,” Negri said. “Sometimes, I have to remind myself to slow down and break things down even more than what I planned. The girls are very eager to learn and have great attitudes. Our goal is to improve every day, and I feel the girls have really bought into this.”
Part of building a foundation is developing chemistry and accountability.
“They have shown such great togetherness already,” Negri said. “We have talked a lot about what it means to be a good teammate and the girls came up with a list. They hold each other to that list every day. (Assistant coach Rocky) Thayer and I have been extremely happy with their positive attitudes and the way they build each other up. That will be huge for us this season.”