Lady Jays move forward after tough season

Immaculate Conception third grader Elie DeFeo sights in on the rim before taking a shot from the foul line while participating in the Lady Jays summer basketball camp Wednesday at Fleming Fieldhouse.

Immaculate Conception third grader Elie DeFeo sights in on the rim before taking a shot from the foul line while participating in the Lady Jays summer basketball camp Wednesday at Fleming Fieldhouse. Photo by Kris Wilson.

The Jefferson City Lady Jays are putting the 2012-13 basketball season behind them.

After a finishing the year with a 3-24 record while fielding a team consisting mainly of freshmen and sophomores, the Lady Jays have a chance at a fresh start as summer workouts begin.

“For us, honestly, not that we won’t learn some lessons from last year, and we’ve done our fair share of reflecting, but we’ve kind of put last season to bed,” Jefferson City head coach Shane Meyer said Wednesday before summer camp for grades 3-12 wraps up today at Fleming Fieldhouse. “In preparation for summer, we really haven’t spent that much time thinking about last year.

“I think all of our focus is on moving ahead, finding out what our kids can do even more, getting them in the weight room trying to get bigger, faster, stronger, and then trying to move on.”

And for the 28 high-school girls at the camp, that’s exactly what they’ve been doing.

“It’s been going well,” Meyer said. “We’ve had a good turnout numbers-wise. Kids are working hard. We’ve tried to go back and hit some fundamentals both offensively and defensively. Trying to instill a little bit more defensive mindset. We’ve probably gotten away from that the past couple of years, but trying to go back and re-instill that and make it a focus and priority for our kids.”

The Lady Jays also have been lifting weights four days and week and are using their 25 allotted contact days on a twice-a-week basis.

“After we get done lifting, we’ll come in the gym and do about 90 minutes of offensive fundamental stuff — passing, shooting, dribbling — just kind of getting the ball in the kids’ hands and get some reps in that way,” Meyer said.

The varsity and JV teams will attend the Licking camp in Rolla this weekend to put some of those fundamentals to the test.

“We’ll be able to go down there and see some competition that we don’t see during the year,” Meyer said. “The kids get sick of going against each other, so it’s a good time to go down there and just play games and let them cut it loose a little bit.”

With a varsity season under their belts and an offseason to hone their skills, Meyer is expecting better things from the Lady Jays in 2013-14.

“There’s definitely a core of those kids that are going to see playing time again this year,” Meyer said. “There’s no substitute for playing and there’s no substitute for playing at the varsity level. Our young kids won’t have the same deer in the headlight look that other kids that are new to varsity action may.

“We know what we have to work on. I don’t think we’re afraid to put in the work. I have every confidence in the world that our kids are going to get better, they’re going to get stronger. If there’s a good thing coming out of last year, there’s definitely a challenge staring our kids in the face. I have every confidence we’re going to meet that head on.”

Aside from the high-school level, about 40 girls went out for the youth camp this week.

“We’ve used this week with the younger kids big-time on offensive fundamental stuff,” Meyer said. “We end with a shooting station, but before that we’re doing ballhandling, passing, footwork and a layup or finishing around the basket station. If you can get those kids in and talk about some concepts fundamentally, I think that’s a really good thing at that age. It’s all about repetitions and creating muscle memories.”

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