The girls have come close these last couple of years. They were 6-7 before losing five of their last six games to go 7-12. The last five years has seen Moulton-Udell win between six to eight games. This season, with nearly everyone returning, the Lady Eagles are hoping to pick up a couple more wins to grab their first winning season in eight years.
“We return a lot of experience this year,” Moulton-Udell head coach Jason Ogden said. “Not only court experience, but coach Swarts and myself have been pulling double duty the last couple years by coaching the junior high team. We are all on the same page and the first week of practice has shown how that has paid off.”
Ogden enters his 15th season (146-152 record) as head coach of the Lady Eagles. He returns seven girls in seniors Malorie Probasco, Chelsey Boettcher, Brason Bulechek along with juniors Jessica King and Karsyn Sebolt with sophomores Abbie Probasco and Hannah King.
Boettcher, a first team all-conference selection last season, leads a strong group of returning Lady Eagles. She led Moulton-Udell in scoring last year averaging 13 points per game on 31.8% shooting while grabbing 7.8 rebounds per game.
Malorie Probasco, a second team all-conference selection, was third on the team in scoring, averaging 7.4 points per game on 25.4% shooting. She also led the Lady Eagles in assists (2.8 per game) and also attacked the boards well with an average of 7.7 rebounds per game.
King and Abbie Probasco both averaged over two steals per game last year and look to be hounds on that end of the floor again this season. Keep an eye on Abbie Probasco offensively. After averaging 4.7 points per game on 24.1% shooting from the floor and 17.2% from three as a freshman, the Lady Eagles would greatly benefit from her offensive game taking a step forward as she showed flashes last season.
Moulton-Udell will also welcome a trio of newcomers in sophomore Grace Wood and freshmen Lexi Smith and Stephanie Leager.
“I also feel our team speed will be something that will help us. We want to try and get up and down the floor and score in transition if possible, our speed should help us do that,” Ogden said.
Moulton-Udell should have plenty of speed on the team that will help them fly around defensively and try to create some easy layups in transition. But with that speed, comes a potential problem in the post.
“The biggest area of concern for us, is our height,” Ogden said. “We don’t have a lot of traditional post players and against some of our opponents that could hurt us on the boards and half court offense. I know the kids will work hard to overcome that and rebounding is about wanting it more than the other team, so hopefully we can address that early on and it not be something that will hurt us.”
Boettcher is the team’s lone true post player on the team this season, which will put a lot on her shoulders defensively to protect the paint and rebound against girls bigger than her.
Offensively, Moulton-Udell was relentless on their attack of the rim. They led the conference in free throw attempts last year with 411 and finished in the top four in free throw percentage at 53.3%. We know they can get to the line, but the improvement to their shooting from the field (26.1% from the floor, 20.6% from three) will be the key.
The Lady Eagles’ convert zone was in the low scoring games. With them being second in the conference in rebounds and first in free throw attempts, the gritty Lady Eagles were able to find ways to grind out wins which will help them moving forward with a more experienced team.
Lamoni appears to be the preseason favorite in the BGC. Ogden feels that there will be another six or seven teams that will be in the hunt for top portion of the conference this year with Moulton-Udell hoping to be one.
Moulton-Udell gets a good opportunity this year as they also play host to the semifinals and finals of the Bluegrass Conference Tournament this season.
“I feel like we need to take advantage of that opportunity and play in front of our home crowd. It won’t be easy as I think the league is very balanced,” Ogden said.