Prep Basketball: Undersized Mercer County girls will shoot lots of 3-pointers
Mercer County¿s Catheryne Claunch (23) averaged 9.5 points per game for the Titans last season. (Clay Jackson / November 20, 2012)
HARRODSBURG — The Mercer County girls will have a completely different look this season.
With no inside players to battle against other teams’ post players, coach Chris Souder said his team is going to have to rely on good outside shooting and hope its undersized post players can hold their own this year.
“We’re all about the same size. When we move a kids to a 4 or a 5 (power forward or center), we tell them you may be playing a 4 or 5, but that does not mean you are a post player,” Souder said. “So we are different, and you throw in two transfers into the mix, it really is almost like a new team. We have a new identity, and we’re probably going to struggle early, trying to figure out chemistry issues.
“It will be a different team, but it could be a really fun team because this may be the most shooters I’ve had. We’ll put five kids on the floor that if you don’t guard us, we’re going to shoot 3s on you. And all five can shoot.”
So rather than grind out a game, Souder wants his team to run and gun.
Sophomore guard Catheryne Claunch, who averaged 9.5 points and 2.9 rebounds last year, is the team’s top returning player. And Souder said she could flourish in Mercer’s up-tempo game.
“She is so tough mentally and physically. And she’s got two years (starting) under her belt,” Souder said.
“And with the way we’re going to play, I was worried she’d probably get double-teamed and triple-team eda lot. Well, they’re not going to be able to do that. They’re going to have to guard us. I’ve told Catheryne it’s going to make her job a lot easier.”
Claunch is just one of several shooters Souder will throw on the floor. Senior Taylor Schroeder, whom Souder calls a “streak shooter,” should see more minutes this season.
“If she comes in and hits her first or second shot, she’s going to light you up,” Souder said. “She’ll likely come off the bench for us, but she’s one of those kids, too, that you’re going to have to guard her.”
Souder will also throw out senior Carli Souder, sophomore Kandace Gash and junior Raegan Freeman.
Transfers Heidi Huffman and Cassity Martin also give Mercer a potent outside game.
Primarily a defender throughout her career, Carli Souder will have to score more this year.
“She doesn’t like the offensive end of it, but Carli can shoot a little bit,” Souder said of his daughter. “And with (the other shooters), Carli may be the one they choose to leave open. She may get more open looks than she’s ever gotten. But her main things is going to be defense.”
Souder is also going to count on middle-schoolers Seygan Robins, Lyric Houston, Maddie Bartley and Emma Davis.
Sophomore Samantha Travilian, who is out for the team for the first time, could give the Titans some inside presence.
Key to the Season
Souder said his team’s lack of size means the Titans are going to have outwork their opponents to stay in games when things aren’t going well.