SYCAMORE – Jessica Mollman always had been a post player.
As one of the taller girls throughout elementary school and middle school, Mollman developed an affinity for playing inside.
Then Mollman stopped growing, and other girls passed her up in height. At 5-foot-6, Mollman maintained the same skill set, but the perspective is different in high school.
“I still have the post instincts, so sometimes getting rebounds and boxing people out is difficult,” Mollman said. “But it’s a good challenge.”
Along with sophomore Bailey Gilbert, Mollman is one of only two returning players who played valuable minutes for Sycamore last season.
Mollman is slotted as the starting power forward for the Spartans and will see more minutes this year after being a role player off the bench in 2011-12.
Sycamore coach Brett Goff plans to use Mollman in a variety of ways because of a couple improvements to her game. An improved mid-range jumper and ball-handling abilities should draw opponents’ post players away from the basket, opening up driving lanes for Sycamore’s perimeter players.
“She can hit the 15-foot jump shot. She can put the ball on the floor when she needs to,” Goff said. “She gives the coaching staff a nice alternative in mixing up the game a little bit and creating some mismatches.”
Goff said Mollman’s coming out party last year was at the Rockford Harlem Tournament. She came off the bench to score 10 points against Belvidere in a 54-32 win.
“Right after that you could see the confidence in her grow,” Goff said. “We could put a little more trust into her, give her some more minutes.”
Now as a senior and in her second year on varsity, Mollman expects to be ready from the start.
“It was a little [difficult] because the pace of the game was so much different,” Mollman said. “I think this year will be good because I have a feel for it.”