Lady Knights fine-tuning for tourneys
By Steve Smith - Staff Reporter
ELLINGTON - posted Mon., Jan. 31, 2011
ELLINGTON - With a 10-3 record, the Ellington High School girls' varsity basketball team can look forward to the rest of the season as a likely precursor to a tournament berth, but that doesn't mean coach Lauren Lovetere-Beeler is about to go easier on them, and there is still plenty of work to do.
“We've got to work on our sloppy passes,” she said. “Our half-court offense is good, with good passing, but our fast breaks and things like that have been sloppy.”
Lovetere said her team has had a variety of things go right for them so far, and that's something that has really started to congeal recently.
“It's been different things all along,” Lovetere said, after a 61-30 romp over Somers. “This week, we're starting to put it all together. Earlier in the season, our defense was really good, and our offense was [so-so]. Then we switched it, but now it's starting to combine together.”
The Lady Knights' success has been in part due to solid play from junior point-guard Kelly Conley, who is approaching her 1,000th point, and seniors and Julie Gage and Claudia Perez.
“Claudia brings feisty post-play,” Lovetere said. “She's a shorter forward, but she gets some good rebounds, and she doesn't let anybody push her around.”
“Julie's our tall center, she gets a lot of rebounds, and a lot of put-backs,” said coach Lovetere. “She's averaging a double-double almost every game this season, and she's a vocal leader.”
“Kelly brings leadership,” coach Lovetere said. “She pretty much controls all of our offenses. She's a quiet leader, but still gives direction.”
When facing tough opponents, Lovetere said her players sometimes get “very nervous,” but added that she has a simple thing she tells them in that case - “Knock it off, or you're not playing,” she said.
But overall, the team hasn't let success go to their heads, and they seem ready for what lies ahead.
“I think our big game has improved,” said Lovetere. “We've just got to improve some minor things for the NCCC and state tournaments.”