Versailles has holes to fill, but Raterman returns

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Versailles Girls Basketball
At the start of last season the expectations for the Versailles Lady
Tigers basketball team were high. They didn’t disappoint, reaching the
D-III state semifinals before losing to eventual state champion
Cleveland Central Catholic. This year once again people are looking for big things from the Tigers, but there are some big holes that have to be filled.


At the start of last season the expectations for the Versailles Lady Tigers basketball team were high. They didn’t disappoint, reaching the D-III state semifinals before losing to eventual state champion Cleveland Central Catholic.

This year once again people are looking for big things from the Tigers, but there are some big holes that have to be filled.

Coach Jacki Stonebraker will turn towards little sis Justine Raterman and Emily Bohman to fill the holes and guide a young team through a challenging schedule.

The 6-foot-2 Raterman who averaged 16.1 points and nearly 10 rebounds per game last season returns for her senior year after being a dominant presence the last three. The UD recruit is the oil for the Tiger machine and once again she will be the focus of the offense.

“Justine will lead down in the post this year for us,” commented Versailles coach Jacki Stonebraker.

The entire state knows about Raterman and every Versailles opponent will be looking to collapse down on the gifted post player. To offset this Stonebraker will turn to seniors Emily Bohman and Mallory Barga.

Last season, Bohman played everywhere on the court and that isn’t going to change. However, in the tournament she played mostly point guard. With a clear size advantage against most point guards she could be a real mismatch problem for opposing defenses.

“Emily will either play point guard or shooting guard for us this season,” noted Stonebraker. At either position she will be asked to help soften up defenses.

Mallory Barga has made a habit of driving the lane. Teams know what she is going to do, but she’s a fearless player and often dictates her style of play to defenses.

“Mallory will be our slasher this season,” noted Stonebraker. Barga’s mindset started showing up last season and only grew stronger as the year progressed.

Joining the three seniors is a group of juniors that are big and talented. Having waited their turn, this group of players will finally get their opportunity.

“It will be interesting the first ten games to see how the girls play together,” noted Stonebraker. “Most of these players played mostly junior varsity ball last year, but I think we have some seniors that can guide the other players along.”

Two of these juniors, Karen Smith and Courtney Barlage will join Bohman at the point. As she did last season, Stonebraker will utilize three players at this position.

“All three are looking strong at point guard right now, so I believe we will share the load again this season like we did last year,” said Stonebraker.

Emily Frey and Emily Eilerman have been designated the task of freeing up the post. The two juniors will join Raterman down low. Both are capable scorers and create tremendous match up problems along sophomore Megan Campbell.

“Justine will handle the post, but we have three other studs that can handle the position down there,” commented Stonebraker.

This quartet of players gives Stonebraker a big, powerful front court that will be the core of the offense. Everything will start in the post and work outward for the Tigers in the 2007-08 season.

Two more juniors will fill up the shooting guard/forward positions, Olivia Liette and Nicci Schalter. Both are tall, lanky players and should hold a height advantage over most opponents. But, there specialty is defense and look for them to harass the opponents top scorer with their quickness and size.

Versailles enters the season along with Delphos St. Johns as the favorites to win the Midwest Athletic Conference. But, anything can and often does happen in the brutal MAC with so many quality teams.

Expectations for this season are high, but Versailles does have two glaring questions; team chemistry and perimeter shooting. If they find an answer to both it is possible they will end up back in Columbus.

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