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Girls hoopsters ready for a postseason run
After a successful first season under head coach Terry Lande, the Spartans feel they’ve got what it takes this season to navigate through a tough Metro League.
Last season with Lande at the helm, he guided an inexperienced team to the playoffs as the Spartans won the Metro League Sound Division title.
They made it to the Sea-King District tournament, but couldn’t get out of the first round.
For his efforts, he was named the All-Kitsap News Group Coach of the Year.
But Lande isn’t expecting a sophomore slump this season.
“They work hard and play hard,” he said. “They’re willing to learn and they’re fun to be around. They’re just great kids. It’s really been fun and an enjoyable experience.”
They didn’t lose much from last season, as Kas Totura, Mallory Farrar and Rebecca Sharar graduated. Cameo Hlebasko isn’t playing to focus on swimming.
Bainbridge has six returners with varsity experience. Senior co-captains Morgan Moniz and Micki Johns lead the way, with juniors Chase McMahon, Wesley Nottingham, Hannah Depew and sophomore Grace Kenyon forming a solid nucleus.
Lande said the returners will be able to run the floor better now that they know his offense and what he likes to do.
“We’re a lot quicker than last year,” he said. “They know more of what my expectations are of what kind of a team we’re going to be.”
Moniz, who has started at point guard since her sophomore year, felt the same way.
“We have a lot more experience so we know what we’re doing offensively on the floor,” she said. “Last year it took a lot longer to understand the plays, but now we understand it. We remember them and how to run them.”
Moniz also said they can shoot the ball well, but said they still need to work on their defense, namely running the 2-3 zone.
Bainbridge also has size on the floor. The shortest girl on the team is 5-6, with Kenyon standing at 5-10 and Johns at 6-1.
But Lande is concerned about the team’s rebounding.
“I’d like to run, but if you can’t rebound you can’t run,” he said. “Those kids have to be willing to rebound.”
He felt their guards will be strong, noting that they can pass the ball well.
The Spartans also have several newcomers on the team.
Senior Davi Gonzales, a left-handed 5-8 guard who moved from Colorado, is someone that Lande said he can play at any guard position and do well.
“She’s going to be a great addition to the team,” he said.
Gonzales has already made an impact as she was the leading scorer in Bainbridge’s two wins to start the season.
She scored 18 points in a 58-43 win against Olympic Nov. 30 and 15 in a 47-39 win against Bishop Blanchet Wednesday. Gonzales also grabbed seven rebounds and made seven steals.
Other newcomers include sophomore post Sydney Severson (who stands at 5-10), sophomore post Ariel Fountain, and freshman guard Danielle Bogardus.
“We’ll be pretty deep,” Lande said. “The key will be are we good deep or not so good deep?”
They’ll find out in a tough Metro League.
Bainbridge must deal with the defending champions in Cleveland and their star in Cheyenne Wilson.
They’ll also have to face off against state finalist Holy Names and their two top players in Claire Conricode and Erika Johnson.
Moniz also felt that Lakeside will be a challenge to get past.
Lande said he’s confident they can be near the top of the league and get farther in districts than in the past.
“We’re in the running for everything else,” he said. “I think we can play with most anybody out there.”
“I think we have a chance to be there,” she said. “We can make the playoffs.”
Bainbridge hosts Franklin at 6:15 p.m. Friday at Paski Gymnasium.