Culver girls basketball preview: New coach Lowry expects leadership from Shedrow
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Shane Lowry graduated from Culver in 1989. He’s been the head coach of the boys golf and baseball programs. He’s been a girls basketball and boys basketball assistant coach.
But he’s never been a basketball head coach before until now.
Lowry is the new girls basketball coach at his alma mater, and he takes over a team that won 12 games last year after winning 17 games in the previous four seasons combined.
“I am a Culver Community guy,” Lowry said. “The opportunity was there, and all the stars lined up.”
Lowry described the offseason and first two weeks of practice as one of “uncertainty.”
“All the COVID limitations over the summer prevented the team from playing together and learning a new system,” Lowry said. “Starting practice over fall break has added to the craziness of the season. We have had quarantine issues as well as the beginning-of-the-season injuries. We just have to stay positive and make the best out of these uncertain times.”
The challenge for Lowry will be to replace five graduated seniors, including leading scorer Alex Temme (12.1 ppg). Guard Kenzie Binkley also graduated, as did frontcourt stalwarts Cerenna Eakright, Lily Hayes and Sarah Walters.
That leaves Maddie Shedrow as the only senior on the team. Shedrow is a first-team all-Hoosier North point guard, and Lowry said Shedrow is “ready to go” after battling knee problems last year.
“Madison is the only senior,” Lowry said. “She is a top 10 student and a three-time all-first team Hoosier North player. She is working hard on the court and in the weight room. Her new role this year has to be the vocal leader as well as lead with her play.”
Now comes the task of putting a lineup around her. Lowry said that juniors Lizzie Pugh, Alina Pizur and Kenzie Banks and sophomore Baleigh Binkley will play a “bulk of the minutes.”
“We have a lot of young, energetic players who are doing their best to learn the new playbook and understand the speed of the varsity game,” Lowry said.
Lowry sees Pizur and Banks occupying the post.
“We need to make up for missed post work time over the summer,” Lowry said.
Binkley is the sophomore with the most varsity experience. Other sophomores on the varsity roster include Luci Overmyer, Maegan Pearl, Maisy McCuen, Olivia Compton and Kaylee Hamilton.
Guard Grace Sieber and forward Avery Garland are two freshmen who Lowry expects to get minutes off the bench.
Lowry was asked if this year’s team will be a smaller, quicker team as compared to last year.
“We are working on developing good decisions and toughness,” Lowry said. “We are going to pride ourselves on the defensive end and run in transition. We will try to spread the floor and attack the basket.”
Lowry was an assistant coach on Tony Scheub’s staff on the 2011 Culver team that made it to the Class 2A semistate.
“Get better every day,” Lowry said when asked about team goals for this season. “Develop a family-like atmosphere. Positively represent our community. Beat like-talented teams. Compete during conference play and tourney time.”
Culver’s pre-Thanksgiving schedule includes games against sectional rivals LaCrosse and Argos and conference games against Winamac and Pioneer. Culver starts the season with back-to-back home games against Culver Academy and Trinity Greenlawn this weekend.
Culver principal Brett Berndt will be the associate head coach. J.B. Overmyer is the varsity assistant, and Ali Overmyer is the JV coach.