Girls basketball preview: Dreads locked and loaded for big season

Every team usually faces a rebuilding season. But the Dexter girls’ basketball program isn’t one of them.

There also are teams that begin a season knowing it could be something special. The Dreadnaughts are certainly one of them.

Dexter had an outstanding season last year. The Dreads ran up an impressive 18-4 record on their way to an SEC title. Ann Arbor Huron ended the year in the district final.

Eight players off last year’s roster return and expectations are dribbling high in Dexter in 2015. And for very good reason.

“We return the majority of our team from last year,” said Dexter coach Mike Bavineau. “We lost two players from last year’s team but a bulk if not all of the major contributors return including my entire starting five.”

Last year’s success and tough loss to Ann Arbor Huron should benefit the Dreads this season.

“Chemistry will be a positive attribute to this year’s team,” Bavineau said. “Experience is another strength. They have all played together a lot now and really understand our concepts and how and what we want to accomplish on the floor.”

While they are just at the starting line it’s difficult not to look ahead to the finish line and just where this talented team might cross. But Bavineau won’t allow that to happen. He’s a “one possession, one quarter, one game kind of coach.”

“We feel good about where we currently are but we know that you pay a bigger price staying the same,” he said. “We coin the phrase a lot: No Deposit, No Return. Simply, we will get out if this season what we are willing to give.”

The keys for the Dreadnaughts are to stay healthy. And even though they have some great depth, key injuries could sidetrack the plan.

“We need to play to our capabilities and the intensity level,” Bavineau said. “We need to win the day and get ourselves better every day. We will not focus on games. We want to maximize our growth and if we do that the winning and the successes we hope for will be there.”

Despite the talented roster and experience, there are things to work on, especially early in the season.

“We are a rhythm basketball team,” Bavineau said. “Our main focus is the ability to score in the half court vs. a variety of defenses, making basketball plays. Good teams will always take you away from your sets so the ability to play the game and make good decisions will be key.”

Top returning players include seniors Taylor Olson (G), Cayla Schlaff (G), Shelbea James (G), Hannah Wing (F), Anna Love (F), Amanda Fileccia (G), junior Kristin Young (F) and sophomore Sammi Corcoran (G).

Top newcomers include sophomores Stella Kill (F) and Ryleigh Bavineau (G/F).

Dexter opens the season Dec. 5 against Toledo Catholic Central.

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