Clare County Review & Marion Press Sports

Clare girls basketball returns key players

Clare girls basketball in a game against Shepherd last season. Photo by Kristyn Tocco.

By Kaitlyn Campbell
The Clare girls basketball team is looking to give it their all after having a record of 14-10 last season.
The girls were competitive last year, and for this season, head coach Shane Kelly, who came over from the Clare boys program, is looking to keep that competitive drive.
“Last year they sort of controlled the ball, they played tough man-to-man defense,” Kelly said. “We’re going to instill the same things, but we’re going to be a little more up-tempo. The girls have been doing a lot of agility and working hard, lifting weights, so I’m excited for this season.”
The girls just had their first practice on Monday, but they also did some work over the summer.
“I know in the summer, the girls came out, I just wanted them to play basketball and be athletes and run and learn off of each other and they did a great job,” Kelly said. “I didn’t really teach any offense or defense, I just let them do what they wanted to do, and I’m excited about this first day of practice. We can only do four-on-ones, so we’ve just been doing a bunch of shooting and shooting drills with four girls, they haven’t been working against each other. So I’m excited to see how it’s going to go today (Monday).”
There are some key players that are returning to the team, but there are also a few that are new.
“A couple of key returners are going to be, like I said, Kendra Fouts is going to be a key returner for us as well as Madi Jones,” Kelly said. “They played last year, Kendra started, Madi was a player on the team as well. She played quite a few minutes off the bench. She’s going to be a key contributor and starter this year. She’s a very strong, physical person, she’s a great rebounder, plays great defense, so a lot of good stuff with that. Some newcomers, we’ve got Tessa Kelly, who played when she was a freshman, didn’t play last year, she’s coming back to play this year. She’s been looking good in shooter rounds. Addy McMillan has been looking extremely good in shooter rounds. So a lot of things that I’m super excited about.”
There are many tough teams on the schedule that the girls will face, including ones like Alma and Sanford Meridian.
“They both beat us last year,” Kelly said. “It’s going to be tough. We play Gladwin, Shepherd, Swan Valley before break, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to the girls learning and growing, becoming more confident, and with that is going to come success.
“I know that we have a battle ahead of us because, like I said, I’m a new coach. It’s going to be a new system, but the girls are not afraid to work and looking forward to seeing what they do.”
Kelly says that he’s excited to have a team of girls who are willing to put in the hard work.
“To have girls wanting to come in and work out and do agility and get stronger, get faster, and like I said, be the athletes that I know they can be, I’m super excited about it,” Kelly said. “I’m just looking forward to the opportunity, looking forward to the girls giving it their all and showcasing what they can do.”
The Lady Pioneers first game of the season will be on Nov. 27 against Marion.

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