Jr. high program about honing skill

The Glenrock Jr. High Lady Herders basketball teams (A, B and C squads) are working hard this season to prove their mettle. Not much is getting past them these days, what with the young Herder’s A team at a 7-2 record this season.

Up until last weekend, the young Herders had gone undefeated, but that changed Nov. 13 when Pine Bluffs took the win on their home court.

The day’s games began with the Herder B team (at 4-4) matched up first against Burns.

“We played Burns first in the morning. The B-team played really hard and have improved since the beginning of the year. We’re in the middle of our season and they’d played Burns before and lost; they beat Burns this time,” Glenrock Jr. High girls basketball head coach Mandy Haskell said.

B team scores are Glenrock,18 and Burns, 5; Glenrock, 10 and  Pine Bluffs, 14. The Herders’ A team annihilated Burns 43-6.

“Defensibly they are playing as a unit. Everybody sticks together. Our team motto says, ‘I play for the herd,’ but the bold letters that stand out say, ‘I play for her’ and that’s what we’re about. We are unselfish. Whatever I do is going to help my team and not the individual,” Haskell said. 

Saturday the Herd hit the road again, this time playing Wright in Newcastle (A only games).

Haskell said the Herders wound up playing against the Wright Panthers, which turned out to be a different match up for the Glenrock team.

“We hadn’t played a small and fast team like Wright’s before. We played our style of basketball and we fell behind in the beginning, then we came back, then they came ahead of us. They beat us in the end 29-38,” Haskell said.

“They played hard. We just couldn’t come out on top there at the end. They took another run in the last couple of minutes, but we’d fallen behind and couldn’t get back in the saddle. That was our second loss of the season,” she said.

What seemed like just moments later, the Herders were on the floor battling it out against Newcastle’s team.

“The girls are very hard headed and determined. They don’t like to stay down for long, they bounced right back and the wheels turned and turned during this game. Our shooting percentage was so much better,” she said.

The Herders took the win over Newcastle 38-10, soundly walloping the Dogies.

“These girls are determined to do things right. They are super hard workers. They’re very coachable kids. During this game they shot 45% from the field in the first half. That put us up by a lot. The girls do a good job of playing an inside outside game, they pass from the wings to the post and back out again,” she said.

The junior high squads – A, B and C – are built based on skill level, she said, with A being individuals with the most experience playing basketball.

“B and C teams are focused on learning. We’re mastering our skills as well as learning the game. We’re emphasizing basic skills needed to play and encouraging our athletes to watch and learn basketball.  When the game begins to make sense the girls can apply their skills without over-thinking. That is when it all comes together. We’re making improvements each and every practice,” B team coach Sunny Fleck said.

“C team is 1-2 for the season. Many of the girls have never played before but they always try their best. It’s been so much fun coaching them,” C team coach Jaelyn Walters said.

Next, the Jr. High Lady Herders will go up against the Douglas Bearkits in Douglas Thursday, Nov. 19 at the high school. Tipoff times are: C team 4 p.m., B team 5 p.m., A team 6 p.m.

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