Franklin Lady Knights
Head coach: Ryan Justice
2019-20 Record: 7-16
Playoffs: Lost to Meadville in District 10 Class 4A First Round, 57-23
Top returning players: Camdon Bashor- JR-C- 11 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.8 bpg; Lauren Billingsley-JR-G- 3.7 ppg; Zelika Hartle-SR-G- 4.8 ppg, 4 rpg; Reilly Phipps-SR-F- 2.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg; Gabby LaJeunesse-SO-G- 1.1 ppg
Top players lost: Carly Calderone-SR-G- 5.3 ppg, 3.3 apg; Peyton Goodrick-SR-F- 3.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg
Key newcomers: Estella Adams-FR-G: She just “gets it”. Has the right mentality to be good/great at anything she puts her mind to. Tough kid who loves to be challenged and told she can’t do something. Skills have been pretty sharp since 5th grade, just about polishing them as she gets older/bigger/stronger.
Jade Drayer-Dean-SO-F: Moved into the school district from Seneca up near Erie. Strong as an ox, good defender and rebounder. The kind of player that the ball just seems to bounce right to at times. Needs some polish on the offense end, but can really provide good depth off the Varsity bench.
Jennifer Blum-FR-G: Athletic, long wing player. Has the build of a basketball player. Doesn’t understand how good she can be yet but she shows flashes, especially when she’s out there with the older girls.
Jamie Blum-FR-G: Twin sister of Jenn. Again, athletic long kid. Very good on the ball defender. Solid ball handler who will do most of the ball handling at the JV level to help get her ready for her future. Hard-nosed kid.
Ava Ekis-FR-G: Microwave player a ’la Vinnie Johnson. Can just flat our score even though she’s only 5’1’’. Needs to improve her defense.
Keys to the season: The biggest key is Camdon. She turned herself into one the better players in the area, especially once January hit. When need to establish her inside and play an inside –out style of basketball. The big difference from this year compared to last year is that I think we have better shooters surrounding her. Between some of our new girls and some of our returners improving their shots, I think we will have a better offensive balance. Last year, teams would just back off our guards and play a zone and pack it in, I don’t think they will be able to do that as much this year. I think we can open up the playbook this year too, we have a higher Bball IQ than we have had in years and have the ability to not only more sets but more complex sets. Defensively, I want to get back to my old ways of beign able to “mix it up”. My first two years we had the ability to play multiple defenses throughout the game, and do things like play 2-3 against baseline OBs but go to man-to-man on the 2nd pass. Confusing the other team can go a long way in HS bball.
Things your team is doing during the COVID-19 pause of winter sports: Dealing with COVID has been tough. This is the first team I’ve had in years that actually wanted to show up for open gyms and summer leagues but we had to be limited in what we did. Luckily since D10 does JR High in the fall, I personally got a feel for how practices and games can be run in the most effective manner during this but it was an adjustment for our girls at first. We are continuing to do things during the break; workouts of google meet, easy drills they can do at home, “homework” assignments of having those watching games at home and notice concepts that College Men/Women do, things like that. It’s not easy, but it’s better than nothing. Luckily for us, we got our 15 practices and a scrimmage in already so when we return we should be ahead of the curve. We have a ton of plays in, and got a lot of good stuff done in those practices, so it will really just be about getting our conditioning back up to where it needs to be.