By Chris Chaney
After three years of meddling in mediocrity, Glen Este Lady Trojans head coach Jeff Click believes that the 2012-13 season is the one in which his team will take the next step in becoming one of the top girls’ basketball teams in the area.
“We’ve been kind of average the last two or three years, taking our lumps, which is a little bit off course for our program,” Click said. “We’ve always been a top-10 in the city and competing for league championships, but the last two or three years, we’ve been middle of the road, so we’re hoping that this year we can be more consistent and take it up a notch. Not just be average, but have the potential to have a special group of players that will compete for the league championship and get back to being a team that’s worthy of a top-10 team in the city.”
Click will look specifically at a group of three seniors to lead the team to that next level, especially Hannah Carson and Katie Gaskill, the only two players on the squad with three years of varsity experience already under their belts.
“Hannah is one of the best shooters in this area,” he said of his starting guard. “She set a school record for three-pointers last year with 78 and that’s pretty good considering when she walks in the gym everybody knows that’s what she’s going to do and she’s able to still do it. Plus, she shoots a high percentage — she’s in the high 40s — so it’s not like she just jacks up a bunch of shots hoping that they go in.”
Carson averaged a team-high 12.3 points last year.
The yin to Carson’s yang is Gaskill, a 5-foot-9 do-it-all forward who wears out the box score with her ability to score, facilitate and play defense.
“(Carson) and Katie go really well together because Katie is very unselfish,” Click said. “She creates a lot of opportunities for Hannah and what’s interesting is that Hannah’s smaller and Katie’s bigger, but Katie’s the one that beats people off the dribble and creates opportunities to pass. When you looked at them, you’d think it was the opposite way.
“They play off of one another really well, they’ve been playing together a long time and they compliment each other.”
Gaskill averaged 9.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.3 steals last season.
Click will also have some other players lacing them up that have some varsity experience, something the team has been lacking
“We’ve got a good mix of players,” he said. “We have the three seniors who bring experience to the table and a couple juniors who got varsity experience last year. We have a couple sophomores who have been around now for a couple years and we mix in a couple of freshman. We’ve got a nice balance of players of nine girls who we think can really play.”
Aside from Carson and Gaskill, fellow senior Jessie Brenes is poised for a breakout season, Click believes. As a junior, Brenes averaged 8.3 points, 2 rebounds and 1.1 assists.
“Jessie could be in position to have a really good senior year,” Click said. “She could get a lot of opportunities because of the problems (Carson and Gaskill) create. She can drive to the basket and shoot it really well, so we’re hoping she can step up and be a good third option for us.”
Kenzie Hall, Ashley Keith and Madi Velten will flank the seniors along with a host of other players who got some playing time last year as underclassmen.
The Lady Trojans begin their competition for an inaugural Eastern Cincinnati Conference title on Wednesday, Dec. 5 when they travel to Walnut Hills.