By The Telegram

Three returning starters and four others with experience give Ingalls boys basketball coach Butch Nally a solid nucleus to build around this season.

"We'll have some decent size and I think our rebounding could be solid with (Mary) Wendel up front," Nally said as he enters his 10th season at the helm. "Defensively, we should be solid. We'll continue to work on that aspect as we always do."

In addition to the return of 6-5 senior Wendel who averaged nine points per game, Nally has 6-2 senior Angel Varela (five points) and 5-11 junior Kaleb Batman (three points) in his starting lineup. Other top returners looking to crack the starting lineup include 5-10 senior Matt Snyder, 5-11 junior Mike Thompson, 5-6 junior Dalton Brooks and 5-10 sophomore Landon Vanderree.

"Our shooting has not been a strong point in the past, but these kids worked very hard in the summer league and have been shooting the ball better in practice," Nally said. "They've worked hard on their shooting and I see a big difference and hope that carries over into this season."

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Ingalls Lady Bulldogs coach Roger Thurlow returns four starters from a team that went 9-13 overall and 4-3 to finish second in the Santa Fe Trail League, a year ago.

That nucleus is what Thurlow hopes will provide for an improved season for 2009-2010 and the group is led by two-time all-league performer Savannah Dwyre, a 5-10 forward who averaged 12 points and eight rebounds as junior.

"We have a solid group of seniors mixed with some up-and-coming underclassmen," Thurlow said. "We will not have a lot of size but hope to make up for that with our athleticism."

Dwyre, who was just recently tabbed as a member of the 2009 Telegram All-Area volleyball team, will be joined by senior Kayla Droste and junior Kiley Schmidt, both of whom averaged six points and earned all-league honors as well. Droste tacked on six rebounds a game and Schmidt averaged two boards. Janae Droste, a sophomore, is the other returning starter.

Seniors Angela Littrell and Miranda Snyder will battle for the other starting spot while Thurlow is hoping freshmen Tara Whipple and Deisy Estrada will provide some depth.

"We are hoping to find some perimeter scoring this year to go with our solid front court," Thurlow said.

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Ingalls Bulldogs

Class: 1A

League: Santa Fe Trail

Coach: Butch Nally (10th season, 127-91)

2008-2009 Record: 11-10

Returning Starters: Marty Wendel (6-5, Sr., C); Angel Varela (6-2, Sr., F); Kaleb Batman (5-11, Jr., G)

Other Top Returners: Matt Snyder (5-10, Sr., G); Mike Thompson (5-11, Jr., F); Landon Vanderee (5-10, So., G); Dalton Brooks (5-6, Jr., G)

Ingalls Lady Bulldogs

Class: 1A

League: Santa Fe Trail

Coach: Roger Thurlow (4th year, 21-42)

2008-2009 Record: 11-10, 4-3

Returning Starters: Savannah Dwyre (5-10, Sr., F); Kayla Droste (5-7, Sr., F); Kiley Scmidt (5-5, Jr., G); Janae Droste (5-5, So., G/F)

Other returners, top prospects: Angela Littrell (5-4, Sr., G); Miranda Snyder (5-4, Sr., G); Tara Whipple (Fr.); Deisy Estrada (Fr.)