Lady Bruins to take on Spartans

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Elad Gov-Ari

Holding a 5-1 record, the Lady Bruins basketball team will face its newest crosstown rivals, the Battle High School (BHS) Spartans [0-2], Dec. 20 for the first home game of the season.
With a large group of seniors having graduated from last year’s team, head coach Jill Nagel has had to reassess the team from the bottom up. Determining her players’ strengths and weaknesses, Nagel has had to devise a new strategy for her traditionally strong team.
“You never look to replace any [team members],” Nagel said. “Everybody brings special characteristics and traits to the team. We are a different style team than what we were previously in large part due to graduating a lot of height. With this being the 13th year I’ve coached, this may be the shortest team we’ve had, but it’s also probably the fastest team we’ve had.”
Basing her strategy and game plans on how to best capitalize on her team’s speed, Nagel said the girls are hard at work perfecting their aggressive defense during practices, to compensate for their lack of height.
With daily practices running smoothly, senior guard Katey Klucking said the Bruins’ season has had a decent start.
“This season is super fun so far,” Klucking said. “Game-wise, we have been playing well, and we have been able to see what we need to fix. The good thing is, the things we need to fix, box outs and turnovers primarily, we are completely capable of fixing.”
With BHS on the team’s radar, both Nagel and senior guard Addie Logsdon are focused on shutting down the opposition by hashing out problems they found in their lineup.
“We’re really working on our speed because we know we’re fast, but we’re trying to tone that down so we don’t rush ourselves,” Logsdon said. “We are working on all-outs on defense and on offense and working on [perfecting] the basics: hitting down shoots, making moves, stuff like that. [I’m really confident about] our shooting and our speed.”
Furthermore, Logsdon recognizes the Battle’s speciality of their strong offensive pressure and hopes to negate those strengths by perfecting her team’s defense in practice.
“[The Spartans] usually have quick guards, so we’ll be helping and working on side defense and the fundamentals with that,” Logsdon said.
With the Lady Bruins’ training regiment and practice plans cut out for them, Nagel hopes to continue to see positive senior leadership and comradery from her team.
“It’s a big game, and it’s our first home game, which is really exciting,” Nagel said. “I mean I know it’s a cliche, but it’s true; we are getting better every day, and it’s a process and a journey that takes time and baby steps to get there.”