Thanks to a district-wide shutdown due to whooping cough, the Madison-Plains girls basketball team couldn’t practice for a week and had its season opener delayed two weeks.
Golden Eagles coach Chris Laslo is taking advantage of his idle time and getting out and scouting teams on the upcoming schedule. With the inability to even get his kids together for a shoot around, the coach said he has to do something.
“We’re trying to go and watch as many teams as we can during this time,” he said. “We may not be playing, but other teams are.”
The coach could ideally use a lot more practice time to get his collection of inexperienced varsity players up to speed, because he sees a team brimming with ability.
“We have loads of potential, I’ve just got to get it out of them,” Laslo said. “We’ve got tremendous talent here, it was just hidden behind the players that played a lot last year.”
Plains lost a lot of talented players to graduation off of the team that advanced to a D-III district semifinal last season before being eliminated by Marion Pleasant.
The team will now turn to a collection of kids who were on that team and played significant roles.
That includes sophomore guard Macy McCollister and junior Kaylin Dill.
“Both of those girls are coach’s kids and are natural leaders,” the coach said.
Also back in the mix are senior post Savanna Nelson and senior guard Tara Buscemi, the two of them are the team’s captains and have been helping the coaching staff make sure things are running smoothly on and off the court.
“All of our girls worked really hard on their games in the summer and are making progress,” the coach said.
What the Golden Eagles lack in physical size will need to be made up for in other areas. Their overall team speed and quickness as well as their ability to shoot the ball from distance could cause match-up problems for bigger teams.
“We can transition well and shoot the three-ball,” Laslo said. “Size is definitely a weakness. To get size we have to go younger and they’re just not ready yet.
“We’re going to be aggressive on defense and pressure in the full court. We’re going to use our speed and quickness as much as we can.”
Laslo said he’s settled on a starting five but said it’s definitely not set in stone.
The sure things right now are McCollister and Dill in the backcourt and Nelson on the frontline.
“It’s very fluid and could change as we get going,” he said.
The added time to see other teams on the schedule could prove to be beneficial, as Laslo will learn a lot about the new members of the Mid-State League Ohio Division that he doesn’t know a whole lot about.
“I still don’t know about a lot of these teams,” he said. “I am tempted to say it might be a little easier. Worthington Christian is a good program, West Jeff is on the rise and Grandview made a deep tournament run last year and didn’t really lose anything. Those three teams should all be good.
“I would say we’re going to be in that group but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”