Last season: 9-12, 4-2 GLAC, lost in Class 3A Griffith Sectional to Griffith
Inside the Gladiators
Leading returning scorer: Hattie Andrews, 14.9 ppg
Leading returning rebounder: Andrews, 11 rpg
Star power: Andrews, Sr., C. This double-double machine has the potential to bring her team to the prominence of two years ago when it was one of the best teams in the state with her starting as a sophomore. "She's a good passer and has four or five good post moves. She knows what we want and has the opportunity to dominate regardless of who we play," Gavit coach Ken Anderson said.
Newcomer to watch: Saraye Stringer, Fr., G/F. The unheralded freshman will get major minutes early and should help the Glads on the defensive end because of her versatility. "She gives us height and length on both ends of the floor and stayed with us and competed hard throughout the summer," Anderson said.
Playing to their strengths
The Gladiators graduated 55 percent of their scoring from last season's team. Besides Andrews, the team is going to be a bit smaller than in years past, especially at guard. There are five seniors on the roster, but two have never played in Anderson's rigorous program, so the inexperience will matter early. "We're really going to have to depend on our younger players more than we should," Anderson said. If they're going to be successful, Gavit will have to play to the strength of its personnel, which is a myriad of smaller-sized guards. That means they will have to get out and run, which Anderson has acknowledged. "We're gonna try to go as fast as we possibly can because if we're gonna make mistakes, I'd rather we make them at full speed," he said. As far as Andrews is concerned, she is within three or four games of scoring 1000 points for her career and the offense will run through her, if she's willing to run on the offensive side. "She has the opportunity to be ridiculously good," Anderson said.
-- Paul Honeycutt