Avoid­ing in­juries is crit­i­cal for In­di­ans

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GROGAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

In­juries dev­as­tated the North East girls’ bas­ket­ball team a sea­son ago.

As long as it can avoid them this sea­son, sec­ondyear coach Chris Had­jis be­lieves his team is in for a much more suc­cess­ful year.

“What we need to do is stay healthy and stay fo­cused. Just by stay­ing healthy, we’ll ac­tu­ally be able to have ev­ery­body in prac­tice,” he said. “Last year, we had kids in and out in­jured all the time so we were prac­tic­ing with six or seven peo­ple at a time and we just couldn’t get any­thing flow­ing. We couldn’t get any rhythm.”

Had­jis named four se­niors – Anna Gam­ble, Bri­ana Handy, Kait­lyn Ste­wart and Loren Deaver – as the group he ex­pects to lead the In­di­ans as they look to im­prove upon last year’s 5-14 reg­u­larsea­son record.

“Our se­niors are go­ing to step up in the lead­er­ship role and con­trib­ute that way,” he said.

North East will have to re­place its lone All-County honor­able men­tion per­former from last sea­son in Bri­anna Christie.

The In­di­ans en­tered Fe­bru­ary of 2016 with a sin­gle win over the sea­son’s first two months, but won four of their fi­nal eight games. They’ll look to carry some of that mo­men­tum into the new cam­paign.

“Ev­ery­body comes and ev­ery­body works hard,” Had­jis said. “We have a lot of young talent, our fresh­man class has a lot of play­ers that can change this fu- ture of this team. The kids re­ally want to play, they want to learn and are very coach­able.”

Fol­low Sean Grogan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

Se­nior Kait­lyn Ste­wart, left, re­turns to the North East girls’ bas­ket­ball team this win­ter.

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