By Rusty Whitcher
Having to replace five sophomores which accounted for tons of minutes, majority of starts and points would leave many coaches treading water. Despite the defections of Makayla Ladwig, Bryana Young, Nikki Lowry, Nikkita Lester and Morgan Cockrum, Hesston College women’s basketball coach Dan Harrison is encouraged by this year’s Larks. Ladwig and Lester each averaged double figure scoring for the Larks last season. “We’ve got a huge hole scoring particularly,” Harrison said. “However, I’ve got three girls who played significant minutes and multiple starts in Bethany, J’liyah and Sydni, so I’m counting on them to step up. We’re looking for some immediate impact from our freshman and I think we have some that can do that.” Harrison looks at freshmen Brittany Kramer, the Coffman twins, Erin and Morgan, Dominique Needham and Amanda Cockrell to jump right into the mix, with the other returning sophomores in Laken Richer, Taelor Drew and transfer Reagan McClellan. “I'm looking forward to seeing where this group of girls can go this season,” Richer said. “We have a lot of talent and potential to have a very successful year and I'm very excited about what we've been able to accomplish so far.” Along with all of the new faces comes a new philosophy in regards to the offense. “I’ve always loved the Spurs and their equal opportunity motion so we’re borrowing some principles from there,” Harrison said. “We’ve tried to run the old dribble drive and I never really liked it because it didn’t get people involved. I want everyone involved in the offense, I want everyone to be a threat and put the defense on their heels and attack them. With motion you can do that, and you’re also harder to scout. We ran some 1-4 last year and by the end Johnson County knew our plays better than we did.” “It is a much more up tempo game, but I can already see that from the first preseason tournament until now we have adjusted quite nicely,” Kramer said.