The hurry-up offense has become the rage at all levels of football and the Hun School girls’ basketball team is planning to take a page out of the gridiron playbook this winter.
“I want us to really push the ball and try to score a lot on transition,” said Hun head coach Bill Holup, who guided the Raiders to a 14-11 record last year and is entering his 15th season at the helm of the program.
“We have a lot of girls who can handle the ball and run the court. We have speed and we need to utilize it. We have girls who can get up and down the floor.”
Holup is looking for senior guard Anajha Burnett to be a floor general for the Raiders.
“Anajha is a leader by example,” said Holup, whose team tips off its 2013-14 campaign by playing at Friends Central School (Pa.) on December 4.
“She had games last year where she really stepped up. She had a big game against Mercersburg where she had 12 assists. She is accepting of her role, whether it is coming off the bench or starting.”
A pair of juniors, Erica Dwyer and Janelle Mullen, should play a big role for the Raiders this winter.
“Erica is a three-year starter; she has really matured over the last two years,” said Holup.
“She has started since she was a freshman. She has the ability to hit shots. She is unselfish. She has a lot of experience. Janelle has ability on offense and she causes matchup problems on defense. She is long and can guard either small or big guards. On a zone, she causes problems with her long arms. She has the ability to get set and hit long shots.”
The Raiders has three sophomore guards with ability in Amber Bourke, Jess Johnson, and Maura Kelly along with senior Bella Cura.
“Amber played for Mt. St. Mary’s last year; she can push the ball up the floor and attack the basket,” said Holup. “She can shoot the 3. She will be seeing stronger competition than she has in the past so she will have to get used to that. Jess is coming off a good soccer season. She has a fractured wrist right now and is seeing the doctor on December 1 or 2 so we hope she gets cleared then. Bella is in her fourth year and she is much more aggressive. She is putting up her shot.”
In the frontcourt, Robert Morris University-bound Johnnah Johnson will provide plenty of aggressiveness in the paint.
“Johnnah is all set for college so she can go out and just play basketball,” said Holup. “She has more of a midrange jumper this year. She is a senior and has been has been working out for four years; her strength is tremendous. She is a legit D-1 basketball player. She is more aggressive on rebounding and she is smarter on the fouls. Last year, she realized that it was better for her to be on the court and she was much better on not getting in foul trouble.”
Senior Erica Brown will give Hun’s foes plenty of problems with her all-around game. “Erica Brown has the ability to put the ball on the floor,” said Holup. “She can really run the floor in transition and lead the fast break. She has an inside-out game and she is versatile. She is also unselfish. She is a smart player with a high basketball IQ.”
Hun has two other inside options in 6’3 freshman Clare Maloney and sophomore Maura Kelly.
“Clare Maloney has talent right now; she gives us good size,” said Holup. “She is raw but she has played AAU ball so she has experience. She gives us a lot of size, she will help us a lot. Maura Kelly is coming off of field hockey; she is an athlete. She will complement the other girls, she will get on the boards, both offensively and defensively.”
In Holup’s view, the Raiders can have a good winter if they complement each other across the board.
“The girls need to be on the same page,” said Holup. “We have talent but they need to stick together and play together. I am very optimistic that we can have a strong season. I am happy with the kids we have; they are working hard. We need to use the talent that we have in the best way.”