Brittany McQuain is on her own now. She isn’t the lone senior, but most know she is the leader of a new-faced William Chrisman team.

Brittany McQuain is on her own now. She isn’t the lone senior, but most know she is the leader of a new-faced William Chrisman team.
The 6-foot-1 center was a part of an intimidating front court tandem, the other side of it being since-graduated forward Kealee McAhan. Now, she’s all by her lonesome.
“It’s kind of scary,” she said this week during play in the final week of the Game Time Graphics Summer League at Blue Springs South High School. “I don’t have anybody to back me up, or if I’m having a tough time, be the other senior on the team.
“But the other seniors on the team do a great job of leading and stuff like that.”
Still, McQuain knows that when she herself needs help, she will have to do it on her own.
“As far as being myself, I have to do a lot of talking to myself, like telling myself things to pull me out of ruts, and if I’m having a tough time, to kind of calm myself down, which is hard for me,” she said. “I have to grow up real fast.
“This summer has shown me a lot about myself. And it’s tough, but I’m working on it.”
McQuain is one of few returning faces to the Bears, who graduated all of their varsity except for three returning starters. Head coach Lindsay Thompson is looking for the team to jell.
“They are learning to play with each other and build some continuity and talk with each other,” she said of her team.
Thompson is looking for McQuain and a few others to step up for the Bears this year.
“Well, her and (guard) Ciara Reed are the cornerstones of this new team,” Thompson said. “And those two along with (forward) Ciera Redditt, who’s only a sophomore, will do very, very good things. They’ve had phenomenal summers. They’ve been working on their game all summer long, and I’m pretty proud of the work they’ve done in the offseason.
“I think that the three of them are really committed to having a good year this year and I look for them to do really big things.”
To work on that continuity, Thompson is doing a number of things to help the team and herself.
“I’m putting different combinations on the floor, allowing them to make some decisions, asking a lot of questions. I ask a lot of questions in the preseason,” she said. “I’m trying to get them to think like a coach and not like a player, because there is a big difference. During the season, out on the court, they have to think like coaches.”
Playing games will also help Chrisman’s continuity, and the Bears are getting no shortage of opportunities to play together.
“Last week, Sunday through Tuesday, we played eight games in Oklahoma. And we came back Wednesday and played two games at the summer league, so in those four days, we played 10 games.
“They were tired. They were very, very tired,” Thompson said, laughing. “The last game I thought, ‘Oh, what have I done?’ ”
Thompson is still big on the summer league.
“I have past girls call me and say they absolutely miss summer league,” she said. “Probably because I give them so much freedom. They can just go out without a lot of rules and restrictions and just come, play hard, and go home.”
Thompson also likes the relaxed atmosphere of the summer league, even if the players care just a little bit more about the numbers on the scoreboard.
“It shouldn’t be a huge, high-stress situation,” she said. “It should be something they come out and have fun at and laugh at each other.
“But we like to win,” Thompson added with a sheepish smile.