West Lafayette Girls Basketball Preview
November 13, 2012West Lafayette Jr.-Sr. High School
Grace Palmieri had a breakout season as a junior last year. Palmieri and point guard Kayla Jones were among those who spent all offseason in the gym.
Coach Jane Schott expects Palmieri to take another leap this season.
Couple Jones and Palmieri with the return of juniors Shelby Mann and twin sisters Jessica Martin and Taylor Martin and the Red Devils become a confident, experienced team.
“It’s nice to come back and have that experience,” Mann said. “We’ve been one of the youngest teams (in the area) for awhile. Now we’re the team with the most experience.”
There’s not much height on the Red Devil roster, but 5-10 senior Anna Searle returns after averaging 5.6 rebounds and 7.4 points last season.
Senior Grace Van Sickel played in 22 games a year ago, and Nikki Shiver and Lorelei Turner also are listed as forwards. However, Schott said not to confuse the listed positions in the traditional sense.
“I’ve got kids who can fly down the floor and I’ve got kids that can shoot, can handle the ball and they are my posts,” Schott said. “You call them posts. We call them ballplayers.”
Turner’s last competitive season came when she was in eighth grade. The sophomore forward tore her ACL in a freshman game last season, but hard work in the gym has her ready to be a starter for the Red Devils.
“Lorelei Turner has really put in the work and she just came out of nowhere,” Mann said. “She’s worked hard to come back to where she is now.”
This is a year the Red Devils think they can do some damage. The senior bunch were in seventh grade when Schott took over the program and have grown under her guidance.
Last year, West Lafayette took a positive step by winning some close games and posting a winning record.
“I think last year really helped build our confidence,” Searle said. “We’ve been waiting for this opportunity we have now, and we know we have confidence in ourselves and want to show that this season.”