Friday, November 14, 2008

Carey gals put fun in run and gun

Express Staff Writer

It's not known what kind of music he likes, but Carey girls' basketball coach Lane Durtschi definitely likes his hoops up-tempo.

"My offensive philosophy is to push it hard and try and get the points in transition. I like to get down there before the other team can get set. By the time they do that we are already attacking," he said.

Up-tempo should be no problem for a team of 10 with six seniors and four juniors, four of whom competed in last season's 1A state track and field meet, with one, Amy Ellsworth, winning the 1600-meter run.

"We've got some experience this year," Durtschi said. "We have six seniors and that experience will help us a bunch."

As juniors last season, 5-11 Kayla Bailey (forward), 5-8 Kelsey Green (guard), 5-4 Shelby Hansen (forward/guard), 5-7 Emilee Butcher (forward), and 5-6 Chelsey Hunt (guard) were part of a team that went 13-10 overall, placed second to Richfield in the Northside Conference at went 1-2 in the state tournament.

The team's leading scorer is back as well: 5-5 junior guard Jessica Parke averaged team-high 9.5 points per game for a total of 219.

"Jessica did a lot of good things last year. She plays a lot bigger than she is," Durtschi said.

Other members of the junior class are 5-5 guard Jenni Murphy, 5-8 forward Amy Ellsworth (6.6 ppg) and 5-3 guard Taylor Whitby. Kelsey Reynolds is a 5-8 senior forward who recently moved from Georgia to Carey.

"I am still debating the starting five. I expect good things from all of them," Durtschi said. "I think they hustle and work really hard."

Despite Richfield's looming presence in the conference, Durtschi is optimistic that the Panthers will return to state come February if they can accomplish two things.

"I think if everyone can stay healthy and keeps a positive attitude we'll probably get back to state. We need to improve our defense and our outside game, but it's easy to coach them, because they all love the game of basketball," he said.

Ron Martinez will assist Durtschi and head up the junior varsity team of Shurressa Rodriguez, Candace Hennefer, Erika Zarate, Darby Northcott, Aimee Rodriguez, Micaela Adamson, Nicky Gomez, Gabbriella Mares, Kelly Patterson, Taylor Castle and Charmaine Kirkland.

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