Perlich was the boys basketball coach from 2000-2008 and is embracing the challenge of turning around the girls program. The Lady Eagles have one winning season (the 1997 team went 15-7) in the last thirty years of girls basketball here at Churubusco. There will be plenty of room for improvement.
(Nichole Wormcastle works on her shot during a practice session this week. Wormcastle, a junior, will take over point guard for the Lady Eagles this season.)
Coach Perlich feels that experience is one of the teams biggest strengths. With the lack of seniors on last year’s squad a lot of underclassmen had the o
pportunity to gain some valuable playing time at the varsity level. The Eagles are lead by seniors Taylor Amber and Alysa Holloway who have shown good leadership and lead by example. Coach Perlich would like to see them become more vocal on the court helping out the younger players. There are three returning juniors, Nichole Wormcastle, Melissa Bueker and Haley Brumbaugh. Wormcastle will be handling the ball for the Lady Eagles this year. Bueker and Brumbaugh gained valuable time off the bench last season and should help out this year. Sophomores Morgan Young, Heather Monk and Haleigh Gross saw a considerable amount of minutes on the floor for the Eagles last season as freshmen. From watching them in the scrimmage and the first couple of weeks of practice they have come a long way. Casey Gibson is the only freshman on varsity now but several of them could see some playing time as the season progresses. After a successful season at the eighth grade level these girls are asked to make the jump to junior varsity ball. It is a big jump and they should be ready for the challenge. “This group has played together for a long time and you can tell. They know each other and they know the strengths and weaknesses and you can see that on the floor,” commented Coach Perlich.
The Lady Eagles played a scrimmage game with Wawasee this past Saturday and Coach Perlich was happy with their performance. “We won a couple of quarters, our offense will come, we struggled with a little bit early. We are just getting in too much of a hurry,” stated Coach Perlich. “Defensively I was happy with the way the girls were getting after it and we did a great job boxing out. Free throws we struggled a little bit, which has been the case for the past several years. Anytime you get to the foul line you need to knock those shots down.”
Churubusco participated in a summer league at East Noble, playing twelve games. The program helped the new staff figure out what parts of their game needed more emphasis and it introduced the players to the new coaching staff.
Angola should be the one to beat in conference play this season along with Fairfield. Other than the couple top of teams, everyone else seems even. The Lady Eagles should be able to compete with the rest of the conference.
“I have been really pleased with the effort that the girls are putting into this season. We have had two good weeks of good hard intense practices. I am pleased with the attitudes and what seems like a good desire to want to play well. If we continue to play as hard as we are right now it will allow us to compete with a lot of teams out there,” added Coach Perlich. “We have been working on conditioning, and they haven’t liked that but I tell them we are going to be in shape. When it gets down to the fourth quarter and we are in a ball game we are going to be able to stay there, instead of losing it because we were too tired to compete. The girls have been working hard and we are getting in shape where we need to be and hopefully that will help us towards a sucessful season.”