Senior class to carry Lady Warriors
Seven points, along with a slow start, were all that thwarted the Marion Lady Warriors basketball team from playing for a substate title in 2016-17.
Wellsville used a quick 19-2 burst to end Marion’s season at 15-7 with a 40-34 win.
Last season was quite an improvement considering the majority of the Warriors were new to varsity competition.
As the sun rises on a new year, sixth-year coach Kelly Robson has a team with a chance to do more than just play for a substate title.
With six seniors and three returning starters, this might be the best chance the Warriors have for some time at making the Class 2A state tournament in Manhattan.
As 5-8 senior forward Kourtney Hansen rolls, so do the Warriors. Hansen led Marion in just about every category a year ago, averaging 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 steals a game.
Unsurprisingly, Hansen was tabbed Class 3A honorable mention by both the Wichita Eagle and Topeka Capital-Journal along with being a unanimous first team all-HOA selection for the past two years.
Hansen figures to again be one of the league’s best, able to play either up top or down low in Robson’s three-guard offense.
Even with Hansen leading the charge, more support will be mandatory from the other Warriors.
That shouldn’t be too big a concern with seniors Courtney Herzet and Sam Richmond returning as the other two starters from a year ago.
At 5-4 and 5-5, respectively, Herzet and Richmond bolster what figures to be a quick backcourt.
Richmond averaged a team third-best 5 points and 2 rebounds a game, with Herzet averaging 3 points.
After a late surge to end the season, 5-6 junior Corrina Crabb is likely the only underclassman in Robson’s starting rotation.
Crabb has been slowed by an injury, but will bring speed and ball handling once she returns to full strength.
“She’s really growing as a defender and shooter,” Robson said. “I’m excited to see what she can do.”
Alli Molleker figures to be the other starter in the frontcourt, coming off a 6-point, 4-rebound average from last year.
Despite a successful season, Robson still didn’t believe the Warriors lived up to their full potential in perimeter scoring.
“Last season I felt we didn’t shoot it was well from the outside as we were capable of,” he said. “I’m hopeful that this season the girls can show their true abilities from out there.”
Senior Corin Parmley could also challenge for a starting spot at guard and has long distance potential and good ball handling skills.
The Warriors won’t feature a real presence inside, which could possibly create concern battling for rebounds.
At 5-10, Jessi Lewman will be about the best the Warriors can muster for an inside presence, but she still managed to average 2 points and 2 rebounds a game last year off the bench.
Junior Sam Kelsey is another who threatens for logging varsity minutes.
Kelsey’ has good shooting potential, but is making progress getting stronger, instead of being called upon for a ton of production.
Robson has the largest team he’s ever had with 25 girls on the roster, so depth shouldn’t be as much of an issue as being tested. He expects his seniors to lead the way.
“Our senior class is experienced,” said Robson. “They’ve played together many years and understand very well how we do things. The senior class is very excited about the upcoming season and the opportunity it presents to try to match or exceed what we did last season. They are constantly trying to improve.”
Last modified Nov. 29, 2017