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Lady hoopers have high hopes



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From left, senior captain Emilie Kipp and junior Melanie Gagen go at it during a practice. Photo by G. Ouzounian (click for larger version)
December 05, 2012 - The girls of Lake Orion basketball are going to be a young team this season, but that doesn't mean a losing season.

They'll have their work cut out for them - After six players graduated in 2012 the team has five returning players, one senior, five juniors, five sophomores and two freshmen. But Head Coach Steve Roberts has confidence in his team.

"I think the lack of playing experience at the varsity level will be our biggest challenge this year, but we go back about seven years, we didn't even have a senior on the team," he said.

"With the growth potential we had and lived up to, out team was able to rally and win our school's first district. This year we're in a very similar situation. We're young, but with the growth potential, when these younger players get to become juniors and seniors you can have a more outstanding season.

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"Not to say we cannot compete and win, but you have a better chance later on."

Returning are senior Emily Kipp (a third year starter, strong rebounder and defender), third year junior guard Nicole Krier (an excellent ball handler who drives to the basket well and is a good shooter), sophomore Hanah Hamay (who started in her freshman year, is recovering from a shoulder surgery but hopes to return before the end of the season.)

There are junior forwards Melanie Gagen, Becky Fix and Evelyn Wischmeyer who will be valuable members of the team.

Last year the team went 12-9 overall and finished second in the OAA White Division. From that perspective, said Roberts, the team has a lot of potential improvement.

"We have a couple girls that were freshman on JV last year like Jenna Losinkski, Stephanie Arbuckle and Alex Carpenter who are first year varsity sophomores," he said. "They're practicing with varsity level players every day and that will prepare them for when that time comes. Fix was the leading scorer on JV last year and juniors Kaitlin Hopkins and Misha Stieler will look to fill roles on the team as well. We lack the experience, but we're looking forward to what our growth potential can bring. Our work ethic is good."

The girls played Clarkston on Tuesday and will play away against Andover on Thursday, Dec. 6.

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