Lady Dogs look for success under new mentor
When named the new Batesville varsity girls basketball coach in May, alumnus Mitchell Taylor stated he wished to get “the program back to where it was” when the team was “competing for a sectional title year in and year out.”
Saturday evening at New Palestine, the former Bulldog officially gets the chance to see that through when BHS takes on the Class 4A Lady Dragons.
Taylor, who headed the girls JV squad last year after a brief stint at Brownstown, has some intriguing pieces to plug into the Bulldog lineup in his first go-round.
Guard Makayla Granger-Young, a slashing lefty, is a welcome returnee to the Dogs after sitting out the entire 2021-22 season with a knee injury. As a sophomore, she averaged 9.8 points per game and 3.4 rebounds while hitting 26 3-pointers.
In the frontcourt, sophomores Aly Peters and Sophie Gesell showed loads of promise in their freshman campaigns as they wore varsity suits from day one. Peters landed 8.9 ppg and 4.8 rpg while shooting 45% from the field. Gesell, more of a swing player, put in 4.1 ppg and grabbed 3.1 rebounds while dishing just under 2 assists per contest.
A trio of seniors, along with Granger-Young, will look to provide leadership to a still young squad. Emma Weiler mans the point guard position, scoring at a 6.8 clip last winter and splashing 25 triples. Lizzy Nobbe and Ava Hanson played almost exclusively for Taylor’s JV team a year ago.
Representing the junior class is forward Claire Saner, also searching for her first quality varsity minutes.
A pair of sophomores round out the roster – forwards Marlee Obermeyer and Lydia Haskamp. The latter saw some varsity time as a frosh and the former had a 10-point effort to her credit in JV action.
New Pal has seven straight winning seasons under its belt.
The schedule will be a little friendlier after the opener, with Union County coming for the home opener Nov. 11 – the first of five straight home games. North Decatur visits the next night, Seymour and South Ripley the following weekend and Jac-Cen-Del the day after Thanksgiving. December features three home Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference matches – Lawrenceburg on the 8th, Franklin Co. on the 13th and East Central on the 17th. The Waldron holiday tourney is Dec. 27.
As always, the Ripley Co. tournament opens the new year and Hauser (Jan. 14) and Greensburg (Jan. 21) visit prior to the sectional.
EC again has the upper hand in the conference, with Indiana Miss Basketball candidate Josie Trabel leading the way. Rushville and Greensburg figure to be in the upper tier.