New coach, same family feel for Hampshire

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While Hampshire has a different girls coach in former boys varsity assistant Mike Featherly and a key contributor for this year’s team will be 6-foot freshman Peyton DeChant. But not everything is new with the Whip-Purs.

In particular, they can count on the Dumoulin family for more basketball talent. Featherly, who replaces Ed Haugens after an 11-17 season, will start three Dumoulins: 5-9 senior guard-forward Becky, 5-9 junior guard Tricia and 5-7 sophomore guard Nikki.

“The Dumoulins always play hard whatever the situation,” Featherly said. “Each one of them is a lot different in terms of what they’ll do for us. Becky is a great defender inside and outside; Tricia the most athletic and good in the open court; and Nikki is a good playmaker who sets up teammates. It’s a good combination.”

Tricia Dumoulin averaged 4.5 points and Nikki averaged 4.0 in supporting roles last year. They’ll be joined by another key returning player in sophomore Emma Benoit, the 6-2 post player who will be a force inside with DeChant. Benoit was 10th in the area in rebounding with 325 last year.

“She’s really starting to come on and sees what she’s capable of,” Featherly said of Benoit. “Peyton, I think we’ll ask her to do a little more than (we) like for some freshmen. It seems like there’s nothing she can’t handle and she’s one of the smartest players out there.”

Featherly didn’t see a lot of 5-5 senior guard Sara Finn during summer ball because she is a star softball player, but was pleasantly surprised when she joined the team.

“She’s very athletic — if she makes a mistake she’s athletic enough to correct it,” he said.

Junior 5-7 guard Claudia Lazar is a key defender off the bench and 5-8 senior forward Hannah Detiveaux is another reserve who will provide interior support. Two other juniors — 5-8 guard Priscyla Alva and 5-9 forward Kylie Incapero —add to the depth.

Featherly will ask players to play a bit different style than in the past.

“We’re going to be very guard-orientated, play more man-to-man and push the ball a little more than in the past, maybe, but in the end it’s basketball and nothing they can’t handle,” Featherly said. “One of the things that will be tough to tell is who our scoring leaders are. We could have a bunch of different scorers. On a given night anyone could shoot lights out and give us 20.”

Hampshire opens Tuesday at Cary-Grove, then plays for the first time at the Elgin Academy tournament.

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