Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


June 28, 2013

Hearts, Shoes take court in tournament


Thompson was not surprised by her team’s effort on the defensive end, as they’ve had plenty of experience, advancing all the way to the Class 2A Salem Super-Section this past winter before falling to Nashville.

Offensively, however, Thompson wants to see more desire from her team.

“I’m still not liking my offense,” she said. “I want everybody looking to score. I want individuals to say, ‘I’m a scorer, I’m a threat,’ and do it. We’re just not looking to be aggressive all the time.”

On top of Hardiek’s big effort, Madeline Hartke chipped in with six points and Cierra Thompson scored four from her point guard position.

For the Hearts, their summer schedule has been focused on developing a more stable backcourt following a record-breaking 26-4 season and the departure of Kelli Utz. Utz was the steam behind the Effingham engine last season, and Schafer said his squad is trying out a number of combinations to find the solution.

“We’ve just got to keep experimenting, try to find the right spots,” he said. “You wouldn’t think, returning nine of our top 10 players, that it would be tough. But (Kelli’s) gone, she was a great player for us. These other players have to start performing.”

Lauren Stephenson took over the point guard duties for much of the game against Teutopolis, and Staser said Jantzen Michael has played some earlier this summer, allowing Josie Zerrusen and Caitlin Kaufman to excel in their roles off the ball.

“My goal is for them to get better game by game,” Schafer said. “Part of this summer is to break them down from what we did last year, realize that nobody gives a crap that we won 26 games.”

Kaufman scored a game-high 13 points for the Hearts, while Zerrusen closed at 11.

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