DANVILLE — The season for the Schlarman girls basketball team will be decided by how quickly the members from the volleyball team gets into the mix.
Some of the Hilltoppers played volleyball until last Saturday’s Class 1A Super-sectional loss, so coach Keith Peoples finally got the team in on Friday to practice.
“We passed out uniforms and we started at it,” Peoples said. “The girls came in and were very energetic and ready to get the season going. We just have to work on conditioning.”
Along with conditioning, the Hilltoppers will have to deal with the loss of four seniors that helped the team get a share of the Vermilion Valley Conference title, which means it could be a change with how the team does things.
“We have to be looking for a focus for this team this season and what we may have to do is focus on defense,” Peoples said. “We are good offensively but we want to make games ugly for the other team and make them work for each basket.
“The conference is going to be real competitive and I expect every game to be a tough game.”
The Hilltoppers return sophomore Sierra Bell, senior Janelle Marion, Sarah Daily, Maria Rangel and Alexis Rangel will be depended on to carry the load for the team but Peoples see potential in a couple of freshmen.
“Maisey Johnson and Rachel Wallis are two promising freshmen who will start on the JV team but will make the move to play a lot for the varsity,” Peoples said. “We also have Shelby Mascari, Joslyn Dietzen and Sarah Larson, who are expected to come up from the JV to play as well.”
The Hilltoppers start play on Nov. 22 at the Blue Star Classic in Champaign.
“It is going to be a tough tournament,” Peoples said. “We are going to be one of the smaller schools there but we are going to go out and get some experience.”