By: Butch Harmon
Experience a big key for Haslett girls basketball team
By BUTCH HARMON
Thanks to a starting lineup with plenty of talent and experience, the Haslett girls basketball team has enjoyed one of its finest seasons in recent years.
After opening the season with a loss against Eaton Rapids, the Vikings ran the table in the regular season.
Depth, experience, and balance have been the keys to the season. “You always have to have good players,” coach Robert Currier said. “We have a very nice, well-rounded team. We have a bunch of kids who are pretty talented and have a lot of experience in the program. We have five girls on the team who were good enough as freshmen to play on the varsity. They all have that experience now, and they have gotten bigger and stronger. Their basketball skills have also improved due to hard work. They just don’t come to practice, they work year round on their games.”
That hard work has resulted in a team that is loaded with skilled players who can all score. The players in the starting lineup average between 8.5 and 14.5 points per game. During the season, the Vikings have had six different players lead the team in scoring in one game or another.
“The best thing about us is that we are truly a team,” Currier said. “Our motto this year that we put on our warmup shirts is `the team, the team, the team’. Everybody buys into it. The girls are most proud of how many assists we have at the end of every game.”
While Haslett is a veteran team in terms of experience, it has only one senior in the starting lineup, so the best may be yet to come.
Sarah Trosko is the lone senior in the starting lineup. A wing, Trosko has been a four-year varsity player. Junior Makenna Ott, a three-year varsity player, also plays a wing. Junior Adrianna Stolicker, an excellent outside shooter, is also a three-year varsity player and plays the two-guard position. Junior Kenzie DeCook handles the point guard duties. DeCook started on the varsity as a freshman before suffering a knee injury last year and missing the season. Sophomore Karson Tripp is a 6'0" center who played on the varsity last year and who rounds out the starting lineup this year.
The Vikings also have a pair of seniors who come off the bench. Alison Rich was a starter last year who brings great experience. Senior Maria Kronner (6'1½"), who has a volleyball scholarship to Ferris State University, provides good size and experience off the bench and has led the team in scoring some games this season.
Those players have enabled the Vikings to enjoy a successful regular season.
“We won our first outright conference title in 10-plus years,” Currier said. “That was a big deal for us. We have not been undefeated in the league in a long time.”
Another highlight of the season was a 70-60 win against Goodrich. “We lost to Goodrich, the eventual state champion last year, in the regional last year,” Currier said. “They have only lost two games in three years, so beating them was a big deal. That was a good confidence builder for us.”
Currier has been assisted in the coaching department by Dave Miller.
“Dave Miller has done a great job for us,” Currier said. “He works well with the kids and is a big help.”
Team chemistry is also a big part of the team’s success. “Our team chemistry has been excellent,” Currier said. “We are so fortunate to have 10 kids on the team that are wonderful students, and it is a joy to coach this group. They like each other, and they are happy playing with each other.”