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Lakers' Almendinger fills up from outside

January 24, 2013
Danbury High School

Lakers' Almendinger fills up from outside

Danbury's Kukay provides complement from post

Jan 23, 2013   |  


Written by

Matthew Horn

Sports writer


LAKESIDE — Danbury’s coaches broke down the shooting strokes of their players in the preseason and worked to re-construct them with fundamental mechanics.

Alyssa Almendinger appeared quite comfortable shooting from the perimeter Tuesday as she knocked down one three-pointer in each quarter as the Lakers topped Old Fort 59-29 in a non-conference matchup.

“She’s a prime example of someone whose form has improved and she works on it every day,” Danbury coach Joe Fetzer said. “She’s shot really well the last two games.

“I’m really happy with our shooting. We’ve shot better since Christmas. We’ve worked on follow-through and finishing high. They trust it now.”

The Lakers (8-8) surged a bit after Cassidy Rhodes canned a three for a 16-10 advantage in the second quarter. Danbury outscored the Stockaders (0-15) from that point on.

“That shot really broke the ice for our zone offense,” Fetzer said. “We were rushing but she came in and got her feet set and made the shot. The others followed getting their feet set afterward.”

The Lakers’ coaches have focused on technical aspects of the girls’ shooting form, such as angles, starting point and release.

“At first it was difficult,” Almendinger said. “They’ve tweaked it a little and I can get a good, relaxed shot off.

“We were a little shaky at first with our passing (Tuesday). After halftime something clicked and we got smooth, quick passes that made for smooth offense.”

Stephanie Kukay had a three-point play off her own offensive rebound and scored off an assist from Megan Stephens in the first quarter. Kukay showed nice touch on a short jumper after a steal and long outlet pass from Katie Almendinger in the fourth quarter and added two putback buckets off missed free throws in the game.

Stephens also had a three-point play in the fourth quarter after a defensive rebound from Kukay and another long outlet from Alyssa Almendinger.

Kukay, who said her main jobs are to make good choices and take good shots, continues to grow more comfortable and confident in her role at the varsity level. The team has also grown closer on and off the court since last season.

“It’s like a family out there,” Kukay said. “We bring each other up.”

Alyssa Almendinger scored a game-high 16 points while Kukay added 11. Freshman Sam Puckett sank two late free throws.


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