Sometimes a team’s best asset can be the source of its greatest weakness.
Case in point: the Glenbrook South girls basketball team.
Glenbrook South’s 6-foot sophomore Molly McDonagh often found herself as the primary defender on Evanston post Alecia Cooley, while 6-1 senior Teigan Flaws, 6-2 senior Katie Jennings and 6-0 senior Katie Dwyer all played a role in defending the 6-2 post Friday.
Few local teams feature that kind of height and Cooley, who finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds, never became the focal point of the Evanston offense. However, there also is a downside to playing “essentially four posts and a guard,” as Glenbrook South head coach Steve Weissenstein puts it, and that is ball handling.
With Titans senior guard Lindsey Oldshue the only experienced ball handler on the team, keeping hold of the ball has been a challenge at times for the Titans. Against Evanston’s sometimes swarming defense, the Titans turned the ball over 15 times in the first half of the 41-37 loss and had over 20 giveaways for the game.
“The girls are getting better (at keeping hold of the ball),” Weissenstein said. “But if there is a weakness, there is not a true point guard, other than Lindsey, that we can have bring the ball up against a team like (Evanston), which is really physical and athletic.”
The Titans clearly miss last year’s primary ball handler Colleen McDonagh, Molly’s sister, who is now applying her trade at DePauw University.
There may be some help on the way. Senior Annie Engels, who is a 5-8 point guard, is expected to return to action in January after suffering a broken wrist playing soccer.
Molly McDonagh said the team’s problems with turnovers are due more to a lack of experience than ability. She said she expects the turnover woes to lessen as the season progresses.
“I think it comes with time,” she said. “Three of our starters didn’t play that much last year. My sister was the primary point guard, and it’s an adjustment for Lindsey to go from secondary point guard to primary point guard. For the other girls, it’s experience, playing against a team that is in their face and as quick as Evanston. It’s really an adjustment.”