There are very few Division II teams in Central Ohio that are more athletic than Jonathan Alder.
The Pioneers have the ability to throw waves and waves of talented athletes at opposing teams. While having athletes doesn’t necessarily guarantee success on the hardwood, it doesn’t hurt having them.
First-year coach Steve Cawley inherited this Alder squad and he’s in the process of putting them in the best spots to make them successful.
“I think our depth is one strength and our athletic ability is the other, we’ll be able to run the floor,” Cawley said. “I came in and right away I noticed we had long, lean, athletic girls and we’re going to use that. We’re going to pressure and we’re going to run.”
The Pioneers welcome the return of sophomore guard/forward Sydney Bourquin. She’s the prime example of what Alder has in terms of athletic talent. She has the ability to run with anyone, size to rebound and defend and can score around the basket.
Also back in the rotation are senior forwards Emily Davis and McKenna Huff, senior guard Peyton Mast, sophomore forward Jillian Jakse, junior post Corinne Parker, sophomore guards Sydnie and Kenzie Bushong, and sophomore Sophie Zawodny.
Other varsity players are sophomore Melissa Walbom and Abby Jones.
Alder will have an army of players capable of causing havoc on the defensive end and ones that can run baseline to baseline.
“We’ll be nine deep if not 10 deep all year long, those 10 will play pretty consistently,” Cawley said. “I think I have 10 girls who will go out there and compete and put the ball in the basket. I look to use all of them, we’ll look to use the whole floor and we’ll look to run them.
“Some coaches say they are 10 deep but will then have a role player out there as the 10th player. But we have a legitimate 10 players who can score and play. We plan on using them all.
Having so many players who play well and are basically interchangeable parts, leads to the possible problem of what happens when you need a basket or a go-to player. Also what happens when a team that loves to run is forced to play a slow-it-down style.
“In crunch time who are we going to go to?” Cawley asked. “That’s a concern, what are we going to do when we’re not able to run and get stuck in a half-court game. So we’ll find our way through those things. But I really like this team and what they can do.”
Reach Chris Miles 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.