ANDERSON, Ind. — With graduation taking its toll across the county in girls basketball from the year before, more than one coach thinks the balance of power may indeed have moved to the north and west as the season gets underway this week.
“Most people think Elwood will be the best team in our (Central Indiana) conference,” said Frankton coach Dean Riddle. “We scrimmaged against them before the season, and they have a very nice team.”
The Panthers have a new coach with a familiar face in former Alexandria player and boys varsity coach Mickey Hosier.
“It is great to have some talent,” admitted Hosier. “You can't win without good players. I am fortunate to come into a program with great athletes. Now I am learning how best to use them.”
The Panthers were 17-6 last season and closed out the year by winning eight of their final 10 contests.
Elwood has nine varsity girls who are either juniors or seniors.
“Most of the girls played volleyball, but they are not in basketball shape,” said Hosier.
There is great likelihood that will change quickly as Hosier wants to alter the team's defensive approach.
“Last year they used a half-court zone,” he said. “We'll still do that. But I like to press and to change defenses. This season will be a challenge to become as good as we want to be, but I am looking forward to it.”
The Bulldogs of coach Kevin Brattain are a deep bunch. The top three scorers from a year ago (Kirsten Rich, Mackenzie Boles and Kaitlin Dobbins) are all back, and two of them averaged scoring in double figures.
“I think we're like a doughnut,” said Brattain. “We're pretty good on the outside, but we have to fill the hole in the middle.”