Despite some loss to graduation, a promising duo returns for Georgetown as they have aspirations to climb to the top of the SBAAC National Division.
Torie Utter and Maddi Benjamin had standout years as a freshman and sophomore and will look to build upon their All-League seasons. Utter averaged 13.2 points per game, good for fifth in the conference, Benjamin at 10.2. Both made the All-SBAAC National Divison first team.
“We are looking at Torie and Maddi to be the leaders of the team even though Maddi is a junior and Torie is only a sophomore. Both come in the gym everyday and work hard. I am looking for both to build off of what they did last year and continue to get better and better every week. It will be Torie and Maddi that I will look at to set the pace of the game for us,” Lady G-Men coach Andrew Gill said.
Gill has helped with the transition from longtime coach Bernie Cropper that set the standard for so many years with minimum expectations of a sectional tournament at the very least year in, year out. Gill led the Lady G-Men to a 17-8 record and 9-3 in conference play in his first season. He looks to build on that.
“We are looking to continue to bring back the winning culture year in, year out that Georgetown girls basketball has been known for. It’s easier to win if you have won before. The girls saw last year what hard work day in and day out results in success in the win column,” Gill said.
Adding to Utter and Benjamin will be senior Hailey Gregory, providing quickness and athleticism helping on both ends of the floor. Gregory battled an injury last season and is now back with a clean bill of health. Gregory is joined by a group of seniors in Kati Colwell, Allyson McHenry, Hannah Gregory and Regan Gable expected to step up in the loss of Kennedy Underwood and Kim Seigla to graduation.
Grace Burrows and Emily Ring are juniors who will be also asked to provide on the floor. Gill is expecting Ring to provide perimeter shooting and rebounding, being the tallest player on the team.
In league play, Bethel-Tate and Williamsburg figure to provide stiff tests, Bethel returning everyone and Williamsburg with a ton of talent back and a 12-0 record in league play last season. Clermont Northeastern also figures to have its say in conference play, who the Lady G-Men opened up with on Monday, topping Georgetown, 53-35. Benjamin missed the opener, Utter scoring 15 and Burrows chipping in 12 in the loss.
“I feel our conference will be tough this year. Like every year we expect to win the conference,” Gill said. “I feel there will not be any conference games that you can just show up and win. All 12 conference games will be a battle, and if we don’t show up to play it could be a long night.”
Eastern topped the Lady G-Men on Wednesday night, 52-34, putting them in an 0-2 hole to start the season. The early tests are good for a team that’s trying to build their way up come the latter part of the season.
“Each day we just have to keep working hard and be playing our best basketball come tournament time in February,” Gill said.
Ripley follows on Saturday with three SBAAC league games after that to start December, getting Blanchester, Bethel-Tate and East Clinton on the 2nd, 5th and 9th, respectively.