Tigers put in offseason work, pick up win over Columbus Christian


Coach Kevin Hensley said it is especially important for members of his Crothersville girls basketball team to pick up a basketball every chance they get this summer.

Hensley and the Tigers will be rebuilding next winter as the graduating seniors played a majority of the minutes last winter.

The Tigers defeated Columbus Christian on Friday night as part of the Red, White and Blue Hoopfest. Crothersville is playing 16 games in a summer league at Edinburgh, as well.

“We play (two games) every Tuesday and Thursday,” Hensley said. “It’s a pretty tough league. They’ve got South Ripley, Indian Creek, Brown County and Martinsville, so it’s not itty-bitty teams. We’ll get beat up a little bit, but that’s how we learn.”

Morgan Womack, Sam Uberlin and Kendall Berry all started in the sectional last season, and they return.

One of the new players Hensley is counting on for inside scoring, rebounding and defense is junior JoJo Clas.

“One thing is to get JoJo more comfortable playing the post position,” he said and mentioned she has to take advantage of her size and strength.

Hensley said in a game against Columbus Christian, “They didn’t have anyone to stop her inside. She’s got to get more comfortable doing that. This was a good game for her to learn that, especially with those two freshmen. Hali (Burton) and Hayden (Pilgrim) change our team. Hali has played every position. Hayden is more of an inside or wing player. This season, she’ll probably have to play a lot of guard.”

Berry and Clas said they are working hard to improve their games this summer.

“I’m mainly a post, and my post moves haven’t been that good, so I really need to focus on my post moves,” Berry said. “We don’t have any good ball handlers coming back, so we’re all working on our ball handling. Our whole team is just trying to get better in every category. I write with my left hand, but I do everything else with my right hand. I’m definitely trying to get better dribbling left-handed.”

Berry continued, saying, “I need to work on my shooting, and I need to work on my confidence level because I think I’m going to miss, so I don’t put up as many shots as I should. I just want to have fun with my senior year. We have a great team of girls here. It will be a fun season either way.”

Clas, an incoming junior, said, “I just want to improve everything. It’s like Kendall said, we don’t have a strong ball handler for this season, so we all really need to work on that. I just need to work on putting the ball in the basket because I’m afraid to take shots. My free throw shooting is off and on. I like man defense because it’s more of a one-on-one type thing, but zone is not bad. I just love everything about basketball. It’s my favorite sport.”

Hensley said he is looking forward to the next two seasons.

“Next year, we’ll be a little bit better off because we’ll get five or six of those junior high players. They’re guards,” he said. “We’re still trying to put it together. We want to be better than we were last year. It really hurt us when Kennadi (Lakins) got hurt. We didn’t have a ball handler.”

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