MERRILLVILLE

Scouting the 2013-14 Merrillville Pirates girls basketball team

2013-11-09T00:00:00Z Scouting the 2013-14 Merrillville Pirates girls basketball team nwitimes.com
November 09, 2013 12:00 am

Last year: 23-3, 13-1 (DAC)

Team breakdown

The Pirates are watching as the guards that waited their turn for a chance on the varsity are starting to shine. The effort from seniors A.J. Downs and Riana Todd has helped bring along freshmen like Jasmine Wright, who has already earned her way into the starting lineup. Victoria Gaines started the season early with a commitment to Michigan State at the end of September, and colleges are already starting to look around the gym for the next Pirates talent. "I've been so pleased with the effort so far," coach Amy Govert said. "We're still trying to figure out who will go where, but in the mean time, they go hard every practice for as long as we have." While the pieces align themselves, players fight for spots, and no starting position is safe. The Pirates are filling inside roles left open with graduation, and outside talent is replenishing. — Hillary Smith

Last season finish

Lost in Class 4A Valparaiso Regional final to Warsaw.

Leading returning scorer

Victoria Gaines, 13.2 ppg

Leading returning rebounder

Victoria Gaines, 6.6 rpg

Star power

A.J. Downs, Sr., G: Downs will be expected to handle the point guard duties left open with the graduation of Times Player of the Year Dariyan Morris. Downs is definitely up to the challenge, as an all-conference player last year and a continuing defensive threat.

Newcomer to watch

Jasmine Wright, Fr., G: Wright is the freshman that opponents keep hearing about. She's quick and creative with the ball. "She's the best ball handler I've had since Raveen (Murray)," Govert said.

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