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Coach wants Mariner to be aggressive on offense | Girls basketball


Last updated 7/17/2019 at Noon

The Mariner girls basketball team is putting in the work this spring and summer.

The Marauders played in two tournaments in June and have been hosting practices at the high school.

The goal, second-year coach Jamie Gepner said, is to have all the players familiar with the system so the team is ready to roll when the season kicks off this winter.

“We want to get as many underclassmen up to speed, so we can take off from where we ended last season,” Gepner said.

One of the main areas of focus is on Mariner’s biggest weakness – scoring, or more accurately, the lack of scoring. The Marauders averaged only 23 points per game last season. The paucity of baskets definitely contributed to the team’s 2-17 overall record.

“We’re doing lots of shooting and ball handling,” Gepner said.

Gepner and her staff also are encouraging the players to simply take more shots.

“We need to get more shots off and take advantage when they have an advantage,” Gepner said.

If a player has a step on her defender, Gepner wants her to be aggressive to the basket.

An improved offense will only help the rest of Mariner’s game.

“If we can score, we can do more,” Gepner said. “We want to extend our defense, especially with the speed we’re going to have.”

The Marauders are hoping to have good overall team speed, as they’re losing most of their height.

Mariner graduated two of their key big people – Yuni Septimo-Ruiz, a 5-foot-11 center, and Melissa Pere, a 5-9 center.

“We don’t have a lot of height coming in,” Gepner said. “We’re going to have to replace them with smaller girls with a lot of speed.”

Mariner returns an experienced backcourt in senior point guard Melissa Chantha and senior guard Dasia Kim.

“Melissa is a big leader, both on the floor and off the floor. She’s a real good influence on people, getting them to hustle,” Gepner said. “Dasia is a strong shooter.”

Gepner also is looking to senior Tina Duangmani, a returning 5-9 post, for leadership.

“We have a good group of seniors for next year,” the Mariner coach said. “We have good core players to build around.”

A major challenge for Gepner is trying to figure out the exact makeup of the roster.

“We’re still unsure. Some of the girls might be elsewhere,” Gepner said. “It’s a tough thing at Mariner. Oftentimes the group is different from year to year. That’s a little tough, not knowing what we’ll have.”

But those players who have been out consistently in the spring and summer have shown a lot of potential.

“We’re excited to see what they can do,” Gepner said. “They’ve been putting a lot of time in this summer.”


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