FORSYTH -- Forsyth's basketball girls were eliminated on Saturday morning at last year’s State B tournament, and that’s what’s been driving the Dogies all offseason -- particularly junior Lindsey Hein.
The 6-foot-6 Hein is an imposing shot blocker and can score in the low post, but it’s what she added to her game while playing AAU in the summer that has made her even more lethal.
“I think that I worked on mostly the physicality and becoming stronger, and then also just running the floor, because AAU is really fast tempo," Hein told MTN Sports. "So, I think I just tried to run the floor and be more physical and also be able to step out and hit an outside shot, because I used to only be able to score in the post, and I’ve really been working on that outside shot.”
Dogies head coach Ryan Pinkerton finds himself consistently strategizing for the variety of defensive attacks on his post player.
“They (opposing defenses) find ways to make it hard for her and we have to adjust. It’s not always easy having someone that tall," he said. "There’s always different plans on the floor. If her percentage is bad, that costs. It’s her work she does in the offseason that’s paying off right now.”
Another improved facet of Hein’s game? Passing. She is operating more out of the high post early this season, which has opened up things for the entire Forsyth offense.
According to Pinkerton, Hein’s leadership qualities have taken a step up, too.
“Being more vocal. She’s becoming the team captain," he said. "As a junior this year, that’s what we’re really looking for the most. She’s a very coachable person. What we’re really looking for is being a commander, being vocal on the floor and talking to everybody.”
Hein sees it this way: “If we get the ball to the middle they’re going to collapse and we’re going to have open shots. If we make our shots we’re most likely going to win. We work on that a lot and I think that it opens it up a lot.”
Expectations are sky-high around Forsyth this season, and for good reason. The Dogies bring back four seniors that played substantial minutes last year, as well as the return of Reese Pederson from a torn ACL.
“Our expectation this year is to go out and have fun," Pinkerton said. "If we don’t approach it that way it becomes too serious, it becomes a job. We just want to go out and have fun. We’re not expecting to be undefeated this year. We’re just wanting to play ball and see how far we make it.”