The Marion girls? basketball team is looking to a new coach, greater numbers and an experienced group of returning players to create a winning combination this season.
?I?ve really loved working with these girls already,? said Kelly Robson, who assumed the coaching reins this year. ?They are working hard to try and do the things that we need to do.?
Senior Erin Meierhoff will lead the attack as a returning starter with significant playing time last season.
?Erin didn?t do a lot of scoring, she kind of had to handle the basketball,? Robson said. ?She?s a pretty good defensive player, and will need to take a larger role in the offensive side.?
Katey Ehrlich and Megan Richmond are also back this year after playing quite a few minutes last season. Ehrlich in particular provided an offensive spark for Marion, and Robson said he hopes to see both players improve in that area.
Also returning are Kaelyn Thierolf and Kelli Hess.
?Those five all played quite a bit,? Robson said. ?They just need to keep doing what they?re doing and maybe raise it a little bit.?
A younger player expected to contribute is Julia Hall, who saw limited varsity time last season.
?She?s one of the taller players,? Robson said. ?She?s not very big, but I think we can get some good things out of her.?
He said he hopes seniors who didn?t see the court much last season can also find a role and help the team.
On the top of the new coach?s to-do list is to reduce turnovers by improving ball handling and the passing game.
Robson said last year the Warriors had quite a few turnovers in some games, but were able to limit turnovers in other games.
He also thought conditioning was a problem last year, in part due to the team?s smaller numbers. That has been another focus as the team prepares.
?I?m always going to base my goals on improvement,? Robson said. ?Success is just going to be improvement, getting a little better every day. If we can cut down on that number of turnovers from last year, I think that will be successful.?
Though cautious about mentioning tangible goals for the season, Robson said he hopes to help his players overcome the discouragement of posting back-to-back losing records.
?I don?t know that we?ll win any more,? he said, ?but if I can get them to have a little more fun, enjoy the game again, that would be a big goal for me.?
Marion takes the court looking for wins in a competitive Heart of America league that includes perennial powers Sedgwick and Moundridge.
?We could be really good, and not win so much because everyone else is so good,? Robson said. ?I feel good about where we are.?
The Warriors will begin their season Nov. 30 when they travel to Southeast of Saline. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.