By KEVIN HARRIS
NEW WASHINGTON —
The New Washington High School girls’ basketball team has focused on one thing this summer — fundamentals.
The Mustangs hope their work on the basics will help them repeat as Southern Athletic Conference and Class A sectional champions in the 2013-14 season.
During the first week of summer workouts, New Washington went through numerous footwork drills. Mustangs’ coach Terry White says he implemented the drills after learning they were quite effective for a handful of collegiate programs.
“In the first week, they don’t have a basketball in their hands a whole lot,” White said about his players.
New Washington focused on offense in its second week of summer workouts. The Mustangs go through shooting and passing drills.
During the third week, the New Wash players developed a summer shooting routine in the perimeter and the post. The Mustangs also can do this routine with their basketball goal at home or a hoop somewhere else.
During those three weeks, New Washington practiced on Tuesday, Thursday and part of Friday each week. Along with practicing, the Mustangs lifted weights during that time.
The team changed things up this summer by competing in a tournament. New Washington played in a Summer Shootout at Scottsburg, which featured the host Warriorettes, North Harrison and Rushville.
White says the Mustangs usually do not play in summer tournaments or team camps because they conflict with the players’ other summer activities like 4-H.
“We’re not big on having a lot of tournaments and those such things because we don’t want to tie up the kids,” White said.
The tournament at Scottsburg gave New Washington a chance to work on defense.
“It was a good experience for us. But I don’t know how good it was from a coaching standpoint because we had them focus on a lot of defensive things, which we normally don’t do,” White said. “We threw in probably a month’s worth of defensive work in a week’s time.
“It’s been beneficial because we’ve got quite a few underclassmen, so they are getting to understand not only the fundamental [defensive] concepts but the philosophy concepts, too.”
NEW WASHINGTON’S 2013-14 OUTLOOK
• COACH: Terry White (225-102 heading into his 15th season at New Washington and overall)
• 2012-13 RECORD: 20-3.
• RETURNING STARTERS: Ashley Johnson (5-7, Sr., G); Caroline Ricks (5-11, Sr., F); Courtney Amick (5-6, Sr., G/F).
• OTHER KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: Brooke Abbott (5-8, Sr., F); Emilee Holloway (5-2, Jr., G); Lexie James (5-4, Jr., G); Kaitlyn Schindler (5-5, Sr., F).
• DEPARTURES: Kriston Sarver (5-4, G); Coari Robertson (5-5, F).
• 2012-13 SEASON RECAP: The Mustangs won their first Class A sectional championship since 2007 and recorded their first 20-win season since the 2000-01 campaign. They also captured their first Southern Athletic Conference title since 2009. New Washington lost in the semifinals of the Class A West Washington Regional to state runner-up Vincennes Rivet, 56-42. Johnson, Ricks and Sarver each made the News and Tribune All-Area first team, while White was named the Area Coach of the Year.
• 2013-14 PRESEASON EXPECTATIONS: With three starters back from their sectional championship team, the Mustangs should be the favorites entering next season’s Class A sectional. They also have the potential to make a run in the Class A state tournament if they can find someone to fill the backcourt void left by Sarver.