Winamac’s girls basketball team has three starters back from last year’s squad that went 16-6.
Due to the success of Winamac’s football team, the Warriors girls basketball team will open play tonight against visiting Knox. Varsity tipoff is set for 8 p.m.
An injury to top scorer and rebounder Stephanie Shorter derailed the Warriors’ Midwest Conference and sectional title hopes a year ago.
Shorter is back for her senior season and the 5-foot-9 forward averaged 16.9 points and 6.6 rebounds a year ago.
Also back for the Warriors is starting point guard Bethany Brogdon, a senior who averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 assists a year ago.
Sophomore guard Ali Larkin (4.2 ppg) also started at times for the Warriors as a freshman.
The Warriors have a move-in from North Judson in 5-7 senior Taylor Brandt, who is the cousin of former Warrior standout Jordan Brandt who is now playing college ball at St. Xavier in Chicago.
“She’s a forward/guard,” Winamac coach Jeff Wagner said. “We’ll use her more at forward because we need help in that area. She’ll play quite a bit and help us out.”
Junior guard Michaela Ingram will have an expanded role on the varsity this year.
“She has been shooting pretty well in practice and shot well in our scrimmage. She and Shorter both had eight points in our scrimmage to lead us,” Wagner said.
Other varsity contributors look to be 5-7 junior MacKenzie Howard, 5-4 junior Stephanie Crist, 5-6 junior Hannah DeGroot and 6-0 junior Savanna Button.
“Savanna Button is a 6-footer who played well in the scrimmage. She had five rebounds and that’s what we need her to do,” Wagner said. “Her rebounding skills can help Shorter a bit and take pressure off her.
“We’ve got a core back. My biggest concern is rebounding. With the three players we’ve lost [Jessica Schramm, Whitney Hook, Brittany Ruff] we lost 12 rebounds a game and we need to make those up. We lost 20 points a game, but that’s not as big. I think we’ll be OK. We’ve got some shooters.”