Leadership in good supply for this year’s Lady Pilgrims

Alli Andrews is part of a five senior class for Plymouth
By: 
Rusty Nixon
Sports Editor

Plymouth’s Lady Pilgrims have been a work in progress for the past few years and this year that progress will be evident as experience should pay a dividend for Dave Duncan’s team.
“Last year was a a group of kids that were without leadership on the floor,” said Duncan. “You understand what seniors bring to the floor and this year going to have five seniors. We're very excited about our leadership this year.”
The senior class is led by three year starter Alli Andrews leads a class that includes Kristen Davidson, Kenzie Quissell and Courtni Cook to lead the Lady Pilgrims for the coming season.
“Those kids have been around they play with confidence and we are going to find out early where we are,” said Duncan. “We’ve got a lot of kids back this season and this is really a team we’ve been waiting for. You saw glimpses of what they could do and we’re excited to get out and see where we are.”
The Lady Pilgrims will find out early as their schedule will also see what kind of road warriors they can be. Six of their first seven games are on the road starting with an opening night contest against perennial power South Bend Washington and including trips to Mishawaka, Michigan City, and Valparaiso.
The one home game for the ladies is hardly an easy one as they entertain Triton in their home opener.
“You open up the South Bend Washington which is a team that we haven't opened up with in the past and so when you step on the floor you better be ready to play,” said Duncan. “They're going to bring a different athleticism then we can even bring to our practice and so we'll find out what we're made of early,”
Duncan utilized all his roster a year ago, taking advantage of getting younger players playing time in varsity games while also getting them quality minutes on the floor in JV games. Developing that depth should pay off in the coming year.
“We feel like we’ve got a lot of kids that can play at a high level,” said Duncan. “We can go nine or ten deep this year and really that will be kind of exciting for us. We will have the advantage of being able to adjust personnel based on the opponent.”
“Developing that base gives us kids coming up that understand what we want to do and can do some things that maybe we haven’t been able to do in the past,” said Duncan. “I think kids understand their roles better and what’s required of them and if they know what they are supposed to do the team is going to be more successful.”
The experience has already paid dividends.
“It’s not a big surprise but I think as a coaching staff we feel we’re a little further along at this point than we’ve been in the past,” said Duncan. “This may be the first season in several years where we come in feeling like we are ready to go in that first game. That doesn’t mean we don’t have some work to do but we are easily ahead of where we were last year.”
“We want to get better at what we do because that will make our team better and we just want better leadership,” said Duncan. “We talked to some of the kids already that we went to get to the point where they don't have to listen to my voice, so they don't have to listen coach (Dan) Dewar's voice that sometimes they can just go figure it out themselves and I think once you have groups that figured out on their own you have something special.”

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