Liberty will be looking inside

December 06, 1993|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

A strange thing happened to the Liberty girls basketball team last season.

The Lions had one of the most talented players in the county, Amy Wolff, and an outstanding center, Dani Fostik.

But they won only three of their last 19 games in a perplexing fade for a team that appeared to have the ability to make the regional playoffs.

Wolff and Fostik are gone, and coach Tom Delise has decided to go back to his basic basketball philosophy of pushing the ball inside for high-percentage shots.

"I went away from everything I believed in last year," said Delise. "We're going to be more inside-oriented this season and play a more up-tempo offense. We want better shots, and we hope to be more balanced."

Delise hinted at some defensive changes from his traditional 1-3-1 zone, but he wouldn't be specific. He wants to catch at least some opponents off-guard.

It all sounds good, but will the Lions have the players to carry out Delise's game plan?

He isn't sure.

Delise's most experienced player is junior wing Natalie Hannibal, the top reserve last season. Two other juniors, Amy North and Kerry Adams, are battling for the point-guard position.

Adams has been limited to three practice sessions because of a neck injury, but should be 100 percent after the first couple of games.

North and Adams also play the wing and probably will move back and forth between point guard and the wing.

However, if Delise is successful in transforming the Lions into an inside-oriented team, two sophomores -- 5-foot-8 forward Jessica Horneman and 5-7 forward Ashley Davis -- just might determine how far the team goes.

Horneman comes from a talented athletic family and had an outstanding varsity field hockey season.

"Jessica is one of the strongest kids on the team, and she should be very good sometime in the near future," said Delise.

Davis is an outstanding offensive player who has to be pushed to play defense, said Delise.

If Horneman and Davis produce sooner than expected, and North and Adams push the ball up the floor as quickly as Delise wants them to, the Lions might improve on last season's 6-16 record.

Three seniors who have been in the program for four years -- 5-10 Sarah Kovacs, 5-10 Courtney Davis and 5-11 Angie Payne -- return.

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