Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

June 27, 2014

Lady Shoes reset with summer shootout

EFFINGHAM — Teutopolis head coach Laurie Thompson normally knew what to expect from her squad last season, eventually finishing third in the state in Class 2A.

But Madeline Hartke, Cierra Thompson, Haley Giles and Jessica Schumacher are gone and, this summer, the Lady Shoes are feeling some growing pains.

“We're going through a little bit of figuring out where we're supposed to be and figuring out who is going to step up and take charge,” Thompson said.

Thompson brought her group to this week's Southern Illinois Basketball Shootout in Effingham looking to see who would continue to improve and step forward. The event features 95 teams on nine courts in Effingham playing 325 games in four days, with teams from the varsity level down to the fifth/sixth grade level.

On the T-Town varsity, Chelsey Hardiek returns as one of those players.

Hardiek was an important rotation player for last season's third-place team, but steps into a role for the upcoming season as a senior leader and a player who has to play in the post a little more than normal.

But that's a credit to her.

“Chelsey is probably our most physical player,” Thompson said. “She can score inside, but she's also very good at putting the ball on the floor.”

She posted up often on Thursday in a scrimmage against Mt. Zion and crashed the boards, but the Shoes were missing Anna Hartke, who played herself into a big role last season.

Hardiek is part of a seven-player senior class returning for the upcoming season. The group includes Sara Thoele, who also played a lot of minutes in the paint on Thursday.

Junior Danielle Repking returns to anchor the team defensively, though will be surrounded by a group of different guards on the floor. Cierra Thompson, often Repking's partner at the guard position, graduated.

Thompson's not worried about where Repking will be defensively come the start of the season, but the rest of the team is still catching up to varsity-level play.

“Our rebounding has been a huge factor this summer for us and we have to get that better,” Thompson said. “Defensively, we're struggling a bit. They have to learn to play defense at this level.”

Instead of Cierra Thompson, Repking will likely be paired with guards like Janelle Gebben and Hannah Bueker, who are both seniors this season.

Gebben will be an important scoring option for the Shoes' offense next season. She made a few 3-pointers in the scrimmage against Mt. Zion.

“Janelle is doing some nice things,” Thompson said. “She's got a pretty shot and she's looking to score.”

A trio of sophomores also some minutes on Thursday. Reagan Drees, Shelby Thompson and Jamie Sandschafer were often in the middle of the action.

Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or alex.mcnamee@effinghamdailynews.com.

 

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