Coach Seaberry expects young squad to win more games this season
By Sam Graf
MASCOUTAH — After two weeks of practice, MHS Varsity Girls’ Basketball Coach Robert Seaberry is ready to see his young, but more seasoned squad take the floor against outside competition.
That will happen around 7:30 p.m., Thursday, October 15, when the Lady Indians host Cahokia.
“I am excited, ready to play, and am sure the young ladies are ready to play, too,” Seaberry said. “I want to see if they can put into play all the things they have learned. We’re still young, but I see growth in their play from last year.
“I think this team is a little more active. They are more prepared, mentally. A few players, Alanna Brooks, Maya Singletary, Maiah Kelly, and Tia Keene were active in the off-season, having played some select ball in the summer. They are ready for varsity competition, this year.”
Seaberry believes team chemistry is better this season. Singletary, a sophomore, and Hilbig, one of two seniors, have emerged as effective leaders with improved communications’ skills.
Brooks, a sophomore and Keene and Kelley, both seniors, have also accrued substantial varsity experience. To be sure, the starters and key subs shouldn’t look shell-shocked, this season.
Five-eleven sophomore newcomer, Bonnie Thompson, gives Seaberry an athletic, physical post presence. She has worked hard to learn the system and is battling for a starting position. She puts the team first and communicates effectively.
Freshman Haley Garcia also brings some height to the post position, but she lacks experience, and it will take her awhile to develop. Classmate Tamia Williams, from Collinsville, will come off the bench and give Brooks some relief at point-guard.
Offensively, Seaberry has employed more motion and screens, this season, and he demands more ball movement and patience in hopes that the players will get better shots. He needs Kelley to score effectively, as she can drive and hit the mid-range jumper.
Not only will Brooks handle the ball, but she along with Singletary will be expected to make outside shots. Thompson and Keene must be solid at grabbing rebounds and scoring in the paint.
“We must have patience, discipline, and better timing in the offense. That’s what we have been working on.”
Defensively, Seaberry will unleash as much pressure as possible, hoping to force turnovers and get easy scores in transition. If the layups do not come off the break, then he wants the ball slowed down and patient offense run.
Once again, Civic Memorial and Highland are the teams to beat in the Mississippi Valley Conference. Seaberry expects to improve on last year’s 2-8 conference record and 3-21 overall mark. He is assisted by Brian Heriford and Jessica Thymes.
Though Seaberry sees Thursday’s home opener against Cahokia as a “warm-up” game, he wants to win it, badly. And having seen the Comanches in summer action, he expects that they will come out aggressively.
Good! The young, but more experienced Lady Indians should handle the pressure much better than last season.