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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 27, 2008

Ladybird basketball continuing the climb

By Jordan J. Michael

VOORHEESVILLE –– Head Coach Bob Baron took over a Ladybird basketball program last year that had seen better days. The team doubled its win total.

“I came here with a serious mission,” said Baron. “And that was to turn this team around. We’ve done that and things look very promising.”

The Voorheesville girls’ team won a Class C state championship in 2002, but shortly after, the tide turned. The team had a 2-19 and a 5-16 record in the two years before Baron started coaching.

The Ladybirds went 10-13 last season and reached the Class CC semi-finals. “It’s quite obvious that this team is steadily improving,” Baron said. “Now that we’ve had a taste of sectionals, the excitement is increased.”

Voorheesville dropped the semi-final game to Watervliet, beating the team for the third time on the season. However, Baron doesn’t seem to be too bothered by that fact. “All three of those games were tough, but last year is old news,” he said.

Heather Bates, Mary Kate Prendergast, and Brittany Vogel graduated, leaving six players who had significant minutes last year. “I only have nine girls on the team,” Baron said. “Everyone has an important role and no one goes unnoticed.”

New to the team is senior Jacqueline Daly, senior Sarah Schenmeyer, and sophomore Jane Pritchard. Baron told The Enterprise that new legs bring “high energy” to the team.

“These new players come ready to play because they understand that they’ll get time,” said Baron. “Why have a large team? It’s not fair to have someone sit on the bench all season.”

Voorheesville works with an up-tempo style of play, pushing the ball up and down the court. This keeps the player rotation at a premium. “All that running may leave my starters out of breath, but someone on the bench is always ready to perform,” Baron said.

The coach has seen improvement in personal skills, one-on-one play, and defensive looks. “The pre-season is all about gearing up, so you know what to expect,” Baron said.

Prior to the school year, the Ladybird players spend time working on their skills in a summer league, which is common for any varsity basketball team.

“You’re not going to be successful if you put the ball down for an extended period of time,” said Baron. “My players know that someone might take their spot if they don’t play over the summer.”

Holy Names, Lansingburgh, Watervliet, and Cohoes will push Voorheesville to the limit this season. “The Colonial Council is not a smooth ride,” Baron said. “You’ll get beat up if you don’t play hard.”

Voorheesville has no set game plan because it changes with every contest. “You have to attack each team differently,” Baron said. “We have in depth meetings and every player gets to share their opinion.”

The Ladybirds will open the season at home against Cobleskill on Tuesday.

Baron has no reason to believe that his team will go backwards. The building should continue.

“I already see an increase in performance,” said Baron. “There is nowhere to go but up.”

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