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Balance, height offset inexperience on Burgher girls basketball team

WARRENSBURG - With all five starters graduating last June, the 2009-10 Warrensburg Girls Varsity Basketball team is a "clean slate" proposition for the season ahead.

Although only two players on the 2009-10 team were on the talented squad last year, the new squad has a lot of promise, coach Scott Smith said.

The 2009-10 team has a balance of strength, speed and height, which should keep it quite competitive, he said.

The players, however, need to work on developing skills learning the plays, and developing chemistry, he said.

"Our goal is to strive to be a better team every day that we take to the court," he said. "And I am encouraged with the progress we have made already."

Anchoring the team inside will be Seniors Holly Gheen, Kaitlyn May, and Kate Taddeo. May and Taddeo are the lone returnees from last season and are providing savvy leadership for the younger players, Smith said. He added that Gheen's strength and determination should make her a formidable scorer and rebounder despite being a newcomer.

The team's guard play will be crucial to its success this season, he said. Sophomore Jaci O'Brien, who had some Varsity court time last year, will be leading the team as point guard in 2009-10, Smith said.

"Jaci has a great jump shot, sees the court well, and handles the ball very well," he said.

Kayce Duell, who took a year off from basketball last year, will be called upon to be the team's defensive stopper. Isabella Szabo, a Sophomore playing guard this year, has a lot of promise, having won a Most Improved award last year for her work on the Junior Varsity squad, Smith said.

"Izzy has incredible speed that we will try to utilize in every game," he said. Sophomore Savannah Mosher, who Smith said is working hard in practice, is also available to play at guard.

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