Daniel Boone looking to gain experience quickly

File photo by Aimee Herbert Shelby Vanderslice (#12) will be counted on as a leader for the the Daniel Boone High School girls' basketball team this winter.

After several very successful years, the Daniel Boone High School girls’ basketball team had a rough season in 2012-13. First they graduated a lot of players from the previous season, then they moved to Division 1, where the competition is much tougher.

The program also added a new coach and staff last season which made it a rebuilding year. They have lost several key players from last year (one to a transfer to another school and one who decided to play winter club basketball), but they do have some talented players coming back with one more season of experience.

“This year is going to be interesting said head coach Tim Kline. “We have had the girls working very hard in the off-season and this year. I would expect to see some fairly significant improvement. We will be very young with freshman and sophomores seeing huge minutes of playing time.”

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Among those players coming back for the Lady Blazers is junior guard Shelby Vanderslice. She was second on the team in scoring last year with an 8.5 points a game average, but it was her defensive skills that made her so valuable to the team. She will guard the opponent’s best player, but might be counted on for a little more offense as well.

Alyssa Garner, a junior forward, got some significant playing time coming off the bench last year, contributed as a tenacious defender. She has worked on her shot over the off-season and Kline expects her to contributed more on offense this year.

Sophomore guard Kaitlyn Keeley will be the starting point guard for the Lady Blazers. She got some playing time as a freshman last season and Kline is expecting a lot from her this year.

“She is a dynamic ball-handler and is extremely quick,” said Kline. “She can also be a lockdown defender when I asked her to be one. Her court vision is rapidly improving each and she will be the motor behind our offense.”

There are a lot of questions about this team that won’t be answered until play begins. They will be a very young team with freshmen and sophomores getting a lot of playing time. They need to gain experience quickly if the Lady Blazers are going to make the playoffs.

Kline believes a playoff berth, both Berks and District 3, is possible if things go right for this team. But when a team is this young, it will difficult to finish with a winning record.

“The keys for us this season will be to stay healthy since are numbers are low,” said Kline. “Also, our young players, including five freshmen who should see significant varsity minutes, will have to mature very quickly.”

Daniel Boone opens the season with a game at Twin Valley on Dec. 11. Their first home game will be against Exeter on Dec. 19.

About the Author

Ric Webb is the sports editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers. Reach the author at edwebb@berksmontnews.com or follow Ric on Twitter: @berksmontsports.