Lady Flashes search for go-to player

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 6, 2001

[11/6/01]With the start of the 2001-2002 season upon St. Aloysius, the Lady Flashes are running around trying to find a new identity literally.

Gone are Mollie Richards and Kristen Patrick, a pair of dominant post players who accounted for 27 points and 13 rebounds a game last season. In are a group of shooters who coach Paul Hayden hopes will turn the Lady Flashes from a post-oriented team into a run-and-gun squad.

“We’re going to have to be more of an up-tempo, transition team. We’re going to have to score a lot of easy baskets,” Hayden said. “We’re going to have a lot of substitutions. It’s probably going to be a month or so before we know who we are.”

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One thing the Lady Flashes do know is they’ll probably be one of the better-conditioned teams in the league. Hayden has worked extensively on conditioning to prepare the team for the new style of play.

“We’re running more,” said senior guard Leslie Dyess, who along with Danielle Klaus and Jen Barnes will form the core of the offensive threats. “Our plays are more centered around speed and outside shots.”

Dyess, Klaus and Barnes were all starters last season, but weren’t relied on to provide a lot of offense. Each had a few good games when their outside shooting was on, but none scored more than 10 points on a consistent basis.

Getting one of them to fill the offensive void left by Richards and Patrick will be a key to St. Al’s season, Hayden said.

“Scoring is going to be the one thing we’re going to have a problem with. I’m hoping one person is going to step up and average 20 points or 15 points a game for us,” Hayden said. “Everybody’s going to have to do their part for us to be successful.”

If St. Al’s shooting isn’t on, it could be in trouble in more ways than one. The Lady Flashes only have one player over 5-foot-8 sophomore center Caitlin Moak, who is 6-feet tall. St. Al has five players on its roster listed at 5-foot-3 or shorter, including the 5-foot-2 Dyess.

“Our team is going to have to be mainly speed, because we have no height,” Klaus said.

There is a bright side to a shorter roster, however. It does make it easier for players to fill in anywhere as needed, and also makes them more versatile by forcing them into different roles. Every player except Moak is listed as either a guard or forward on the roster.

“We have a number of girls who fit into that forward’ mode,” Hayden said with a laugh.

The smaller, quicker lineup will also help the defense. Without any slower, plodding post players, the Lady Flashes can be more active and, hopefully, create more turnovers and general havoc.

“That’s going to be one of our strengths early on is our defense. We have the quickness to stay with most teams. We’re going to have to rely on defense for the first month or two,” Hayden said.