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Higher fundamentals the important thing to enchancment for Clay-Battelle ladies’ basketball

BLACKSVILLE — When requested to sum up final yr’s Clay-Battelle ladies basketball crew’s season, coach David Joyce delivered a solution fairly shortly. 

“At 8-15, with a first-round Sectional loss, I’d say we have been fairly common at greatest,” he mentioned. “That’s not the form of yr we have been hoping for, and it’s not the form of yr we count on to have at Clay-Battelle.” 

When requested the inevitable follow-up query about why issues didn’t go fairly as anticipated, the veteran coach responded even faster – “turnovers and offensive rebounds in opposition to” – however with an apology connected. 

“I do know that virtually each coach within the historical past of the sport has mentioned mainly the identical factor,” he smiled, “however clichés ring true for a cause. It’s the basics – Basketball 101 – and it most likely doesn’t make for an thrilling headline, but it surely by no means actually goes out of fashion, both. There’s little doubt in my thoughts that if we take higher care of the ball and we maintain our defensive glass, we end above .500 final season for certain.  

“There’s already one crew making an attempt to beat you out there,” he continued, “so it is senseless serving to them do it. That’s what we’re preaching this yr, and what we’re engaged on in follow every single day.” 

The excellent news is that no less than more often than not, the extra varsity expertise gamers have on their resume, the extra they perceive how necessary these fundamentals actually are, and this yr’s Cee-Bees are joyful to carry again 5 seniors – Raylee Hennen, Laikyn Dalton, Elyse Moore, Lydia Moore, and Kenly Statler. 

And becoming a member of them, recent off a Mason-Dixon center faculty match championship final season, are a pair of gifted freshmen, Bre DeBolt and Ali Hellyer, and Joyce is seeking to carry them into the fold as shortly as attainable with the intention to set up a faster, up-tempo taste to the crew. 

“It’s actually apparent to see the distinction proper now when we have now freshmen on the court docket in comparison with when we have now 5 varsity skilled gamers on the market,” he cautioned. “Simply the pace of the sport, the physicality – there’s quite a bit to regulate to. However once they get on the identical web page with everybody else offensively – the protection is just about there – we must always be capable of run extra and generate some straightforward factors, which is all the time a plus. ” 

Serving to underclassmen with that essential transition into varsity basketball is each senior’s accountability, and capturing guard Elyse Moore and the remainder of her fellow seniors are excited concerning the alternative to make their remaining season their greatest. 

“We’ve all been taking part in collectively since center faculty,” she recalled, grinning, “so it looks like we’ve been on a court docket collectively perpetually. And everyone knows that the faster the youthful ladies get comfy taking part in with everybody, the higher we will be. And all of us bear in mind what it felt like as freshmen, so we’re simply being actually supportive and inspiring, and principally we’re trusting them with the ball of their palms, even when they don’t fairly belief themselves but. Everyone makes errors, and the easiest way to reduce them is to work in your decision-making and acknowledge what’s coming so that you will be prepared for it. 

“We’ve all been by means of it,” she concluded, “and so we may also help them keep constructive and able to do constructive issues in video games for us. I’m excited, and I actually assume this goes to be yr.” 

The Cee-Bees start the yr on the highway on Dec. 11 at Tygarts Valley and make their dwelling debut on Dec. 21 in opposition to Doddridge County. 

BY MARK SCHRAF