Potential of S. Carroll girls a mystery after mixed start

January 04, 1993|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

With the holiday tournaments behind us, it's now time for high school basketball teams to dive right into the county and conference portion of their schedules.

The one team that most remains a mystery in the county is the South Carroll girls, who didn't partake in any holiday action.

How could the Cavaliers go from beating a team one week to losing to the same team by 30 points the next?

Call it the enigma of a young basketball team. A good, young basketball team.

South Carroll showed its potential when it knocked off No. 9 Howard, a team once ranked as high as fifth in the metro area.

The Cavs then showed their inexperience a week later when a revenge-seeking Howard squad sent them home with a 74-44 defeat.

All things considered, first-year coach Al Skierski has to be pleased about his team's 3-2 record. The Cavs finished 4-16 a year ago.

The team is still adjusting to Skierski's up-tempo style after years of methodical, half-court offense and conservative defense under former coach Ruth Lampert.

"They caught on to the system a little quicker than I thought," Skierski said.

"They tend to do some good things and then they'll make some mistakes. The key is they're giving 100 percent and learning from their mistakes."

The Cavaliers are led by a trio of sophomores who have thrived in Skierski's new system. Nicole Spencer plays much bigger inside than her 5-9 frame, Melissa Gettemy does a little bit of everything at forward and Amber Clutter is the spark at point guard.

Spencer has been the go-to player for the Cavaliers so far this season, averaging 16 points and 11 rebounds a game.

"She's our girl in the middle," Skierski said. "She jumps well and plays very aggressive -- that's contagious."

"All three of them are leaders by example. They play with a lot of intensity and it's gratifying to see them working hard. It's a lot of pressure for these kids.

"They played some as freshmen and have even bigger roles this year. It's a learning situation and they are gaining maturity. One thing's for sure, they love the pressure."

Along with the sophomore trio, Skierski is getting solid contributions from seniors Melissa Moore and Hillary Griffith and junior Molly Cage.

Along with the two games against Howard, the Cavs also have hooked up with defending state champ Hammond -- another top-five team. Skierski is hoping the tough early tests will pay dividends during the conference portion of the schedule as well as in the future.

"It's given them a chance to see what playing pressure games is all about," he said.

"We see what they are doing wrong under these situations and go to practice and work on improving."

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