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Scrappy play keys Johns Creek's strong start
by Chase Wallace
December 12, 2012 12:05 PM | 2619 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Without a player on their roster standing over 5-foot-9, the Johns Creek Lady Gladiators have had to overcome their height deficiencies with an uncanny mixture of quickness, hustle and tenacious play.

Through four games this season, so far, so good.

Johns Creek has been dominant through the early parts of 2012-13, posting a quartet of convincing victories over Lithonia (55-33), Dunwoody (71-19), Forsyth Central (46-28) and Waverly Central (Tenn.) (52-27) to open the year.

“We’ve gotten off to a fast start and it feels nice,” said Johns Creek coach Barney Marchand, who has been with the program since the school opened four years ago. “We thought we could be a pretty good team this year with a great group of girls, but we’ve been a little better than even I expected so far.”

Marchand said the key to their success has been an ability to create “organized chaos” against their opponents, using a high-pressure defense and attacking offense to utilize their dearth of athletic ability and keep their opponents frustrated.

“We’re small but we’re quick and have a lot of well-rounded athletes. Our goal has been to create turnovers, run up and down the court and force the other team into mistakes.”

Johns Creek’s athletes include seniors Allie Buchalski, Molly Speese and Megan Froats. The seniors are complemented by a young, but talented, sophomore class that includes star point Courtney Colavito, Dani Majkowski, Courtney Poole and Katie Wickes.

A year ago Marchand’s team posted a school-best 12-14 record.

With a talented group already coming together and the Lady Gladiators off to their best start in the program’s young history, the Johns Creek coach is hopeful that this year’s team can get over the .500 hump for the first time and knock on the door for a postseason berth.

“If we can continue to rebound well and we can limit our turnovers on offense, we have a chance to be pretty good. Our strategy has worked so far and we’ll see if we can keep it up in region play,” said Marchand.

Johns Creek will play a region game at Lambert on Friday and will host Northview next Wednesday before breaking for the holidays.

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