With new coach and new team, Royals girls basketball begins transition

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FORTVILLE — Last month, Lindsey Shaw was announced as Eastern Hancock’s next girls basketball coach.

Last week she got her first chance to see her team against players from other programs.

The transition period has begun for Shaw and the Royals.

Shaw is in her second stint as the program’s head coach. She led the team from 2007-11 and has been a teacher in the school system for 17 years. She is taking over for Shari Doud, who retired from coaching after this past season.

Along with a new coach, the Royals will have a new look on the floor.

Eastern Hancock graduated five players, including four starters from teams that went to back-to-back semi-states. Last season’s team went 25-2 before being eliminated in the semi-state championship by Brownstown Central.

Playing in the Shelbyville Summer League during the week and part of last weekend’s Charlie Hughes Girls Basketball Showcase at Mt. Vernon High School, Shaw is getting her first up-close look at players that will be part of the 2024-25 club.

With summer vacations and players involved with multiple sports, Shaw has yet to have her full group together, but she’s still finding out a lot about the group she will lead into the upcoming season.

“They have stepped up really big. Some of the girls that were used to a very minimal role have become really key for us so far,” Shaw said. “They have rose to that challenge and are playing hard.”

At the Charlie Hughes, the Royals were without three players that were on last year’s varsity roster, Bella Sotelo, Addisyn Trackwell and Clara Wallace. The lineup had to be filled with players from the middle school team.

On Saturday afternoon, the Royals had a rematch with Brownstown Central, who – unlike Eastern Hancock – returned the majority of its 2023-24 team.

The Royals played the Braves close for one half (tied 19-19 at halftime), before losing the game 46-26.

Rising-sophomore guard Kenzie Koch, the 2024 Hancock County Girls Basketball Athlete of the Year, had 23 of the team’s points, including an impressive 5-for-10 shooting from 3-point range. During last year’s regular season, Koch’s game-high for 3-pointers was three, achieved five times.

Shaw said Koch has spent a lot of time working on her shot this summer, both with the Royals and other workouts.

Only Koch and post player Ellie Meyer, who was one of the first players off the bench last season, are back that had significant playing time. Most of the other varsity returnees playing over the weekend split time last season with the junior varsity. That group included Lainee Parker, Kiersten Judd and Camryn Andrus.

“Our big thing, with the five seniors gone, it’s a different nucleus,” Shaw said. “This group has never played together. Getting them to be OK that we just lost to a team that went to the state finals that has everybody back, we’re not used to losing. We hung in there and were there for a little bit. This is summer, we’re trying to get better and trying to get used to each other so when we get to the season we’re ready to go.”

Shaw said that growth will continue with games in the Shelbyville league.

“The next two weeks, the big thing is to keep building confidence in their new roles and a lot of that will come at Shelbyville playing against other schools. (At Charlie Hughes) I have girls at all sorts of different positions, posts out on the wing. Confidence is going to be the key in their new roles.”

Sonsini shines in all-star game

Greenfield-Central junior Madison Sonsini led her Junior All-Stars White team to a 63-46 victory over the Junior All-Stars Red team in Saturday’s Indiana All-Star Basketball Classic at Anderson University’s O.C. Lewis Gymnasium.

Sonsini scored a game-high 23 points. She hit 7 of 11 field-goal tries and 9 of 10 at the charity stripe. In additional, the 6-footer had eight rebounds, three assists and one blocked shot in 28 minutes of action.

2024 Charlie Hughes Boys Basketball Showcase

Dates: June 21-23

Location: Hancock County teams are at Carmel

Friday (Home team listed second)

1:15 p.m.  Greenfield-Central vs. Jeffersonville at CHS Fieldhouse 1

3:45 p.m.  Lawrence North vs. Greenfield-Central at CHS Main Gym

Saturday

11:30 a.m.  Heritage Hills vs. Mt. Vernon at CHS Main Gym

11:30 a.m.  Ben Davis vs. Greenfield-Central at CHS Fieldhouse 1

2 p.m.  Mt. Vernon vs. Crispus Attucks at CHS Fieldhouse 2

3:15 p.m.  Cathedral vs. Greenfield-Central at CHS Main Gym

3:15 p.m.  New Palestine vs. Ben Davis at CHS Gold

5:45 p.m.  Cathedral vs. New Palestine at CHS Freshmen/Auxilary

Sunday

10:15 a.m.  Carmel vs. New Palestine at CHS Main

11:30 a.m.  Zionsville vs. Mt. Vernon at CHS Main

12:45 p.m.  FW Wayne vs. New Palestine at CHS Fieldhouse 1

2 p.m.  Mt. Vernon vs. Valparaiso at CHS Main