It’s been a long uphill struggle for the Indian River Lady Indians this season. They’d won only one game heading into a 35-23 loss to Delmar on Feb. 21. But with such a young team, many of them are already looking forward to the next season.
“It’s been a long season,” said Head Coach Summer Chorman. “They are kind of tired. But some of the girls are already talking about the off-season. It’s been kind of frustrating, so I think they are going to take a couple weeks off and then start working on their skills after school.”
Junior Kiarra Graves and sophomore Michelle Givans made the gym a second home after last season and through the off-season, but it is clear that more work is needed.
Chorman noted that the team “cleaned up on their basic basketball skill,” near the end of the season but more attention needs to be paid to game situations, she said.
Too often, Indian River would settle for jump shots instead of swinging the ball around or working the ball inside. That led to limited second-chance shots attempts. They also had a tough time breaking the full-court press this season, which can be corrected by understanding the situation.
Breaking a press is fundamental. If an opponent is non-committal then the player must dribble at them to allow a pass to an open player or dribble around them. If they are hounded by opposing players, then someone must break back to relieve the ball-handler and continue on with the offensive set.
Too often, the Lady Indians would catch the pass and go nowhere because they were waiting for someone to break back to them. That allowed defenders time to swarm and create more confusion, which ultimately created Indian turnovers and resulted in a losing season.
Despite the team dragging though the season, Chorman noted she has a good foundation to build the house of Lady Indian basketball at Indian River for next season. Chorman’s team returns the entire starting team, including backcourt sensation Kiarra Graves, and Charne Rayne and Marnisha Mitchell.
In addition, Chorman also has a solid foundation of low-post players with improving fundamentals. Jasmin Holden has become “an improved player,” Chorman said, and combined with Ramsey Reuther, Samantha Pietiyak and Givans, she should provide the Lady Indians enough rebounding and points in the paint to be competitive – if they tweak their footwork and all-around skill near the basket.
“I guess we’ll have to see who takes the reigns and wants to be the leader of this team,” said Chorman of the Lady Indians’ future.