If a fan or even St. Vincent girls basketball coach Gary Poyner had watched the first quarter of the jamboree, they would have seen that the team had a lot to work on.
But the second quarter was much different.
The Indians knocked off the rust and got rid of the jitters in the team’s first live action Friday night in a four team jamboree at St. Vincent High School.
It took about one six minute quarter for St. Vincent to come into its own against St. Paul. A layup by Addison Cates was the only basket in that time frame as St. Paul won the quarter 4-2.
But Poyner doesn’t chalk it up to any more than nerves.
“That’s all I think it was,” Poyner said. “I felt like we were doing good thing like we kept our spacing, we were taking good shots, but in that first quarter, they just weren’t going in.”
Those same shots went in during the second quarter.
Genevieve Lipe scored back-to-back jumpers and Megan Lipe and Mary Schawartz scored off inbound plays to stretch the lead to as high as 8-0, partly because of the defense.
The Indians forced five turnovers in the quarter as they defense turned into offense on the other end.
“That’s what we want to do this year,” Poyner said. “We don’t have that much height, so we want to get out and pressure the basketball and get easy baskets that way. We want to be able to keep fresh legs on the floor.”
That has been a point of emphasis for Poyner in practice as the team has only 11 players thoughout the program, but he is optimistic, that despite the low numbers, all players can contribute to the team.
“I think that as the season goes along we can have some good depth,” he said. “We should be able to pressure and get after the ball more and try to wear the other team down late in the ball game.”
The Lady Indians lost four seniors from last year’s team including leading scorer Lexie Anderson, who averaged nearly 13 points per game.
But if Friday was any indication, the Indians will not rely on just one person to contribute in the scoring column this year.
Lacey Best, both Lipe sisters and others scored points on the regular basis Friday night, which Poyner believes will make them hard to prepare for on the offensive end.
“We may have several games in a week with a different leading scorer every night,” Poyner said. “We are going to want to go with whoever has the hot hand on a particular night.”
Despite the low numbers and the relative unknowns for the Indians, especially because the team only has had a few practices together as a unit so far this season because of state cross country meet and an illness through out the team, Poyner is excited to start the season and see what his team can do.
“A lot of these girls will have to take on a new role this season, than they may have had in the past,” Poyner said.
“But whoever is out on the court has strengths and it’s my job to be able to put them in the best possible position to succeed.”
The Indians start the season December 2 in the Valle Catholic Tournament.