By Chris Chaney
The Clermont Northeastern Lady Rockets are on the verge of something special.
The 2012-13 season was chosen by the teams’ coaches as the one during which the Lady Rockets would establish themselves as one of the premiere teams in the area.
Opening the season at 4-3 through seven games, the Lady Rockets’ are backing up on the court what the coaches have been saying off of it.
“I’m content with (4-3),” head coach Jason Kreimer said. “The only problem I have is that the wins that we do have, I think we could have been played better. They were close games and I felt they shouldn’t have been close for us.
“At times this season, I feel like we are playing at the level of our competition.”
Kreimer pointed out some games in particular that he felt the Lady Rockets underachieved, but still were able to snag a victory.
Their first win of the season came over Williamsburg in a two-point game and then defeated Blanchester in a seven-point victory.
Wins are wins, but Kreimer would still like to see the Lady Rockets impose their will a bit more on opponents he feels are inferior to his team.
“I feel that us, Felicity, Burg, (Batavia and Blanchester) are all on a pretty level playing field and then you have Georgetown,” Kreimer said of the Lady Rockets’ Southern Buckeye Conference opponents. “We went 3-2 the first time through the league. I feel we should have beaten Felicity. We were up four with 14 seconds left and we pretty much beat ourselves during that last 14 seconds. The other four teams are pretty even, but Georgetown is a monster.”
In order for the Lady Rockets to slay that monster, Kreimer is looking for solid second halves to the season from a couple of his go-to players.
“Our two seniors are playing really well,” Kreimer said. “One is a forward — Carly Aselage — she’s averaging a double-double in points and rebounds. She is my leading scorer with about 12 points per game.
“The other is a guard named Chelsae Osborn. She’s also averaging double figures in points. She’s been playing really well and has hit some timely three-pointers for us.”
Osborn has been out for the team’s last two games with mononucleosis, which were against Batavia and Georgetown.
Kreimer said that she didn’t play much against Batavia in the Lady Rockets’ six-point win because the illness was setting in and then she missed the entire Georgetown game as a result of the sickness.
On a positive note, Osborn will have nearly a month to recover before the Lady Rockets will play another divisional opponent.
After going 3-2 in the first go-round of the Southern Buckeye Conference’s American Division, the Lady Rockets hope to improve their standing in the league.
While the league is the main focus of the team, the games that stand between them and their division are also important to the overall success of the season and building of the program.
In the next few weeks, they will play top teams like New Richmond, Glen Este and Western Brown, where they can measure themselves against some of the better teams on their schedule.
Kreimer hopes that the team can use that time to work on some fundamentals and clean up their sloppy finishing around the basket.
“We have got to make our shots,” Kreimer said. “We need to look at every possession as a time for us to score. We’ve been missing little bunnies and layups, and I’m stressing it to the girls that if we want to beat those top teams, we’ve got to make those layups.”
Also helping the Lady Rockets’ rise is the effort put in by the coaching staff in their quest to bring more attention to the program. Both Kreimer and varsity assistant and jayvee head coach Liz Benjamin are sporting Loudmouth golf pants in an effort to draw some publicity.
“It’s going well, we’re still wearing them and we wore them the last two Thursday games,” Kreimer said of the publicity stunt. “We’re getting the attention we’re looking for. When the referees and opposing teams come out, they notice, so I think it means it’s getting people’s attention and that’s what we want.”