Coach Rob Fields
5-16 in one season
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G Cale White 6-0 Sr.
G Eddie Fahnestock 5-10 Jr.
G Brice Dean 5-9 So.
F Sam Dunne 6-3 Sr.
C Michael Rice 6-2 Sr.
F Matt Loveland 6-2 Jr.
F Jordan Speed 6-2 Sr.
F Matt Kaufman 6-4 Jr.
Fields believes improvement can come for the Panthers (5-16, 2-7 CPL) because he has more time. He became coach in August 2009, eliminating the summer as a time he could work with the team and speeding up the start of practice. With more than a year to implement his style, Fields believes the Panthers can take a step forward.
They’ll likely have to do it without Sam Dunne, one of the Panthers’ top players a year ago. Dunne suffered a football injury and could miss the entire season. The Panthers have a deep roster that includes Jordan Speed, a senior who played two years ago but took last season off. Their depth increases the likelihood they’ll find somebody to replace Dunne (6.5 points) statistically.
Beyond White and Rice, a duo with an easy nickname possibility, the Panthers are lacking in experience. White averaged 12 points and Fields forecasts a significant jump. Rice teams with Kaufman to give Independent a potentially formidable post combination.
Coach Willie Perkins
F Anique Valmont 6-0 Sr.
G Imani Fenner 5-7 Sr.
G Emily Ramseyer 5-6 Sr.
C Elizabeth Dunne 5-11 Sr.
F Jenny Steene 5-10 Jr.
The Panthers (4-16, 2-7 CPL) have never seen stability on the sidelines, as Perkins becomes the school’s ninth coach since it opened in 1996. Perkins is confident his style, which involves a methodical halfcourt offense, can help Independent improve after regressing from 11 wins in 2008-09.
Independent has the tools to execute Perkins’ system. The Panthers are tall almost across the board, and the slow-down pace will allow players such as Valmont, Dunne and Steene post up and score around the basket.
Fenner’s versatility may also help. She is the Panthers’ leading returning scorer at around 10 points, but she also contributes on the boards and on defense, where she averaged nearly four steals last season.
_ Jeffrey Lutz
3—Douglass; 6-11—Circle tournament; 14—at Belle Plaine; 17—at Bluestem.
4—Medicine Lodge; 7—at Trinity Academy; 11—Cheney; 14—at Garden Plain; 17-22—Sterling tournament (boys); 25-29—Sedgwick tournament (girls).
1—at Douglass; 4—Trinity Academy; 8—at Chaparral; 11—Conway Springs; 15—at Medicine Lodge; 18—Bluestem; 22—Belle Plaine.