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Gators looking for improvement on hardwood

| Randy Dickson

Coming off a couple of seasons with only two wins, Baker’s girls basketball team is working hard to turn things around this season.

Head coach Chelsea Medley has a long list of where she wants to see team improvement.

There are areas of the team that she is pleased with as well. The players are spending the summer working out and facing live action against opponents.

“We do have a lot of growing up to do,” Medley said. “We lack the scoring ability. I think our hustle, our defensive IQ, and stuff like that are there. It’s a really just going to be a team effort,” she added. “I don’t really have anyone that will outshine the others.”

There are some players Medley will be counting on when play starts for real in November. Treasure Bond will need to do big things in the paint for Baker. Addison Cadenhead and McKenzie McGraw will be the scoring threats from outside.

Defense, though, will lead the way for Baker.

“The strength of the team is definitely going to be defense,” Medley said. “We’ve struggled a little bit putting the ball in the hole. We are going to have to create offense out of our defense.
“All summer, I’ve told them we are not going to play anything other than a man-to-man (defense). If we don’t play it, we’re not going to learn it, and that’s what I want us to be able to do.”

The defensive concepts are simple: playing man, denying the ball to the offense, and forcing turnovers that become instant offense on fast breaks.

The Gators won’t be a one-song defense. Medley understands the need to mix up her defense. When facing a team that is geared to inside play, the Gators will go to a zone defense.

“If they are not a good outside threat, we’ll have to pack (the defense) inside,” she said. “We are going to have to score off defense because these girls aren’t outside threats.”

While the last two seasons have been difficult, the team has kept pressing to get better.

“They get down on themselves,” she said. “It’s hard to keep kids interested with the lack of success. Outside of that, they have great attitude and great effort all year. For a kid to come and keep doing that as much as we have been losing. I can’t ask for any more than that.”