Niagara Gazette

Sports

December 19, 2012

GI's Oursler steps into larger role

Niagara Gazette — It’s always been about size with Cassie Oursler.

At 6-foot-3, Grand Island’s girls basketball star has never had trouble scoring under the basket, particularly when the Vikings’ all-time leader in assists, Kallie Banker, was feeding her inside.

This year, though, Banker is off to Division I Rhode Island, and Oursler will have to adjust her game to have a successful senior season before she heads off to her own D-I school, Robert Morris.

“She has to be more active this year and do more because of Banker’s graduation,” GI athletic director Jon Roth said. “Kallie absorbed all the attention last year, and now because of our young guards, (Cassie) is going to be double- and triple-teamed.

“I think it’ll be better for her as long as she can create her own shots. Last year Kallie kind of gave her the good looks, and now she’ll have to learn how manufacture points.”

Oursler’s athleticism runs in the family. Her father, Chris, was an All-Western New York wide receiver for the Vikings in the late 1980s. Her uncle, Bobby, played football for Grand Island, as did her cousin Max. Her other cousin, Sam, is currently on the Vikings’ football team and spent a year on the basketball team.

“She’s long, where not only is she 6-foot-3, but she has long arms and long legs,” Roth said. “She’s very athletic, but I think her big asset is how she runs the floor. She gets a rebound, outlets it, and she can be the first to the other basket to score.”

Scoring is something Ourlser has had little trouble with this season. Though the Vikings (1-3, 1-1 NFL) aren’t off to the start their usually accustomed to, Oursler has found some personal success, scoring nearly 60 points in her last two games.

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