Eagles offense to center on guards Northeast GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

December 03, 1992|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

The transition started late last season, and it continues into the winter.

Northeast's girls basketball team was rolling along at 12-6 last year when it lost 5-foot-11 center Debbi Dadds to a knee injury in the second quarter of a Feb. 18 game against Arundel. She was averaging 17.1 points and 16.5 rebounds and gave the Eagles an intimidating figure in the middle.

Her absence proved devastating. Northeast dropped its last five games without Dadds, ending any hopes the team had of going to the state Class 2A tournament.

Thus began the switch to a guard-oriented offense. The top returning scorer is 5-foot-3 sophomore Jen Johansen, who averaged 14.0 points and was a second-team All-County selection. Four other players on the 10-member roster are 5-3, including promising sophomore Jaime Pleyo.

"We'll play a different style this year," said coach Calvin Vain. "We lack height, so we'll be playing at a faster pace.

"This is the first time in six years that I haven't been able to read exactly where we'll be. I think we can have a pretty successful season, but how successful, I can't really say."

The tallest player is 5-11 center Jennifer Delsignore, a senior who backed up Dadds last year. Sophomore Amy Van Fossen (5-8) is up from the junior varsity and will play at both forward and center.

"This is a hard-working group, and they're pretty quick," Vain said. "I like scrappy defense and playing a lot of man-to-man. In other years, with so many big people, it was hard to play that way."

The Eagles should be a deeper team this year, unlike in the past, where five or six players received the majority of minutes. "We'll need to play eight or nine, and they'll all have to score," Vain said.

Besides Delsignore, the only other senior is 5-3 guard Kathleen Smith. The lone junior is 5-9 forward Jennifer Barrett.

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