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Reprinted with permission from
The Fairfield Ledger

Pioneers hope to borrow page from boys' team

Maharishi School searching for improvements.

Ledger Sports Editor

Maharishi School girls' basketball coach Brendan Higgins learned what it took to win last season as an assistant coach on the substate-qualifying
Pioneer boys' team.  Now, he's trying to pass that success onto the Pioneer girls.

Higgins takes over a Pioneer team that has experience and talent, but not a good record. The Maharishi School was 4-17 last season overall before bowing out in the first round of districts. The Pioneers suffered key injuries last season, but return a few key players to this year's squad, led by senior Jodi Dey. Dey is the team's only returning starter.
"Jodi is a very good player with a lot of desire," Higgins said. "She's
worked on her game a lot, and she's very good on defense. She's a great leader."

Overall, the Pioneers lost eight seniors from last year's team, so it may
not be a surprise if the 2001-02 campaign is a rebuilding year. Still,
Higgins sees a lot of desire out of his players, and he said that can go a
long way toward a successful season.
"So many of the kids worked on their game last year," Higgins said. "Our biggest goal is to try to get the girls familiar with each other. Last
season, the boys knew each other well and were in sync. I'm expecting the same thing with the girls."

Other players expected to contribute this season include sophomore guard Taylor Ross, one of the better ball-handlers on the team, and sophomore Amellia Schuldt, one of the most versatile players on the team. "Amellia is really a dream player," Higgins said. "She can play any
position for us. She can post it up, or she can play the wing. She's so
versatile." Higgins was impressed with last year's JV players, many of whom have made the jump to varsity. He said they shot a lot, one of the keys that well tell the story of the Pioneers this season. Teamwork will be the most important thing for the Pioneers, as many of the systems employed by the boys' team last season will carry over to the girls this year. A stingy defense, plus creativity and effectiveness on offense will be components to the systems.

"It's hard to predict how we'll do because we lack some experience,"
Higgins said. "There will have to be a lot of getting used to. The kids expect a lot from themselves, however. I want them to pick up where they left off from the summer work.

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