GREENVILLE — The expectations are high for the Greenville girls varsity basketball team this offseason.
Coming off a 14-10 record this past season — the most wins since going 12-11 in 2013 — the Lady Wave coaches want to continue building the program they started five years ago.
“It has been an upward climb since we took over five years ago,” said varsity assistant coach Ryan Fiely, brother of head coach Rachel Kerns. “I think we are now beginning to see the benefits of all they hard work these players have put in to this.”
Things didn’t start too well on Monday in a summer league game against Covington, but Fiely said he saw progression throughout the two-hour contest, which consisted of multiple 10-minute games where varsity and junior varsity squads rotated in and out.
“We haven’t played in about two weeks so we were just trying to compete and improve our skills,” Fiely said. “After that first quarter, I feel like we did just that.”
But as any coach will say, there are things that still need to worked on.
“We’ve got to protect the ball better and finish our shots better,” Fieley said. “All that will come though the continued work this summer and that will only make them better come the winter season.”
Fiely also complimented the junior varsity players for their efforts against the Buccs.
“They got to rim and made a lot of layups,” he said. “That was mostly freshen out there and they competed really well today.”
The Lady Wave lost two seniors from last year’s team — Cassie Cromwell and Payton Brandenburg — but have four returning seniors-to-be in Jada Garland, Saki Nakamura, Lani Shilt and Koryann Elliott. They also have their top two scorers from a year ago back in sophomore Morgan Gilbert (8.7 points per game) and junior Haleigh Mayo (8.2 ppg).
“We have high expectations for this season,” Fiely said. “We are going into this season with the expectation of competing for a league title. We hope that is the driving force for our girls as we work through this summer.”
Fiely said the varsity and junior varsity squads are headed to Wilmington College for a shootout on Wednesday. They will play four games against Cedarville, Troy Christian, Troy and Bethel-Tate.
“We’re going over Tuesday night and having some team bonding exercises and then we will just talk a lot of basketball,” Fiely said of both the varsity and junior. “We’re going to make mistakes and we will learn from them. All of that goes into making us better players and a better team.”
Next week, the summer league season will wrap up on Monday at home and then just the varsity team will compete in the Miami University Shootout on June 27.
The Daily Advocate Sports Editor Skip Weaver can be reached at 937-569-4316 or by email at email@example.com.