Putnam Clipper girls' basketball team rebuilding on the run

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Putnam - posted Mon., Jan. 20, 2014
(L to r) Seniors Makenzi Kaylor, Cynthia Briere and Brianna Gidman lead the Clippers. Photos by D. Coffey.
(L to r) Seniors Makenzi Kaylor, Cynthia Briere and Brianna Gidman lead the Clippers. Photos by D. Coffey.

The Putnam Clippers girls’ basketball team graduated nine seniors last year. Coach Mandi Hogan said her team needs to play its best basketball every single night. Challenged by recent injuries, she’s had to call on underclassmen to play on the varsity squad. After losing forwards Gabby Simpson in January and Mackenzie Livingston in December, Hogan is trying to rebuild this team on the run.

The Clippers have shown flashes of being a hard team to beat. They came out confident against Tourtellotte a week ago, playing hard and driving to the basket for lay-ups, boxing out and getting rebounds. Not so in the second half. “I don’t know what happened,” Hogan said. “We played a different game.”

Senior captain Makenzi Kaylor has developed her inside/outside game this year. “She’s always been strong from the outside but now she’s pushing that ball more aggressively, driving to the paint, proving to be a leader from the guard position,” said Hogan.

At 5 feet, 11 inches, senior captain Cynthia Briere has been playing great. “She’s been putting up double-doubles in almost every game. She sets up well in the paint and boxes out to earn her rebounds,” Hogan said.

Kassie Kania keeps the up-tempo game going with her quickness. The team responds well to her fast break style of basketball. She’s aggressive and plays great defense.

Lynsay Dashnaw is another key player on the squad. “She’s an all-out player,” Hogan said. “She brings a lot of energy, an intense style and a toughness to play.”

Also in a leadership role for the younger players is senior forward Brianna Gidman.

With the early injuries to key players, the younger players are getting great experience. Freshman forward Alyssa Frederick is already stepping up, competing for varsity playing time. “By next year they will understand what it takes and they will step into key roles,” Hogan said.

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