The 2021-2022 basketball season is underway at schools across Perkins County, with game one of the season just around the corner.
Deanne Bishop will return this year as the team’s head coach, with university assistant coaches Mike Mayer and Renee Seiler at her side. This year’s student managers are freshmen Zoe Baumgartner, Kenna Dickinson and Isabella Torres.
The Perkins County girls’ basketball program has 15 players making the team this year, with five freshmen, five sophomores, one junior and four seniors.
All sophomores, juniors, and seniors are returning players, leaving only freshmen as new players on the squad.
The team’s freshmen are Libby Cole, Emily Cornelius, Charis Goodell, Casey Johnson and Briana Ledford.
The sophomores are Maggie Fisher, Kaitlin Meyer, Kailee Potts, Ava Reese, and Ella Uehling.
Meredith Gloy is the only junior on the team this year.
Meghan Bishop, Hallie Fisher, Autumn Anderson and Kylie Tucker are the senior members of the team.
Workouts began on Monday, Nov. 15 and Bishop said the team was working on a combination of core conditioning, skill-specific conditioning, speed work and technical work.
She added that continuity and consistency in terminology, fundamentals and key strategies is already apparent, when it comes to the new freshmen on the team.
“We have been able to progress to the ‘next level’ of skills and are ahead of what we have been as a team compared to previous years,” she said. “I’m grateful to have such talented female basketball coaches to coordinate our program efforts, like Madison Seamann, Mark Bottom, Tim Bishop and Megan Dormann. Together we have put together a strong basketball program for girls ages 7 to 12.
The girls played a scrum match on Thursday, November 18, which showed Bishop some things the girls already do very well together, and things that could still require a bit of work.
“We did a good job picking up the pace and looking for transition points,” said Bishop. “We are still working on the nuances of certain offensive and defensive lines. The timing of things like defensive rotations, effective screens, cuts and looks will come with continued practice. “
Bishop would like to thank the high school and high school girls who worked hard to improve the basketball program this summer.
“Each summer our Perkins County basketball players have the opportunity to participate in the ‘5,000 Shot Club’,” she said. “This is a shooting program that combines ball handling, form shooting and dynamic shots to the beat of the game.”
Each practice, she explained, is goaltender or station specific and includes five minutes of ball handling and 200 shots.
“Players can shoot in the gym after morning weightlifting sessions, in a park or any aisle, making it flexible for their different locations and times,” Bishop continued. “Players who participate in the full program receive a ‘5,000 Shot Club’ t-shirt.”
This year, the challenge has also opened up to challenge secondary school juniors. A total of 13 Perkins County 7-12 basketball players completed the program, including Autumn Angerson, Meghan Bishop, Kylie Tucker, Meredith Gloy, Kaitlin Meyer, Kailee Potts, Ella Uehling, Emily Cornelius, Briana Ledford, Jacqueline Gloy, Lauren Bishop, Haylea McGreer and Madison Potts.
Together, they managed 65,000 shots, including 16,250 free throws, and completed just over 27 hours of handling the ball.
“Their hard work will make them even better and our women’s basketball program,” said Bishop.
This year’s regular season will run from Thursday, December 2 to Tuesday, February 8, 2022 with 18 game days on the schedule, excluding multi-day tournaments. Sub-District games will be held in mid-February, followed by Districts on February 25 and Lincoln State in early March.
The Lady Plainsmen basketball team will play their first game on Thursday, December 2, welcoming Hershey with the jayvee girls game starting at 3:30 p.m. and the college game at 5:00 p.m.
The next day, they will travel to Bridgeport for junior and university matches. The varsity junior team game will start at 4:00 p.m. followed by the varsity game at 5:30 p.m.
After that, the girls won’t face another team for a week, when they host Kimball on Friday, December 10.