Sports

Wait 'til junior year!

What Woodward girls seventh grade basketball coach Korrie Beemer termed “the most talented team for that age that I’ve ever coached” wrapped up an unbeaten season last week by defeating Port Townsend 64-14 on Wednesday and Sequim 58-9 on Thursday.

Those scores were typical for the 15-girl squad, which averaged 53 points in its nine games (the Wolverines won a 10th by forfeit) and allowed an average of just 11, a 42-point differential. Four times they held opponents to single-digit scoring.

Despite the impressive numbers, no one on the team averaged in double figures, as everyone played in every game and everyone scored. The top two individual efforts came from Megan Burris – who scored 20 points against Sequim – and Angela Failla’s 15 points against Sequim.

The team’s point guards were Kerry Hillier, Sam Kornfeld and Adrienne Montoya.

Playing No. 2 guard were Failla, Callie McKenzie and Caitlyn Salo.

Lindsey Bratonia, Lindsey Montoya and Tess Sadowsky were the No. 3 guards.

The forwards were Jacquie Menalia, Danielle Sanders and Julia Weese.

The team’s two six-footers – Burris and Hannah Stuart – played center, along with 5-10 Marijke Schwarz Smith.

“Wow! To have 15 girls this good was a coach’s dream,” said Beemer. “Some were strong and muscular, some were skinny and speedy. One girl could even shoot left-handed layins with her eyes closed.

“And besides talent, they love to play basketball and had a great work ethic.”

The big question for Spartan basketball fans is what these girls may offer, starting in two years when they become BHS freshmen. Beemer is optimistic, envisioning several members of her team making the varsity during their first year.

“And I see them competing for the state title as juniors,” she added.

Natural attrition is likely to claim a few.

“Some will have other interests,” she said. “Some may move away or play soccer, and who knows if their mentality might change.

“But I believe that the big portion will continue. If they spend 15 minutes a day on basketball – 15 intense minutes – they could be very dominating. That’s what Emily Pierce (a 2001 BHS graduate who is the 10th leading all-time scorer in school history) did, and she was undersized and had a hurt back.”

With an eye toward the future, three of this year’s games may be particularly telling. During its years in the Olympic League, Bainbridge’s chief opposition came from Port Angeles. The Roughriders handed the 1999 state championship team one of its only two losses. Yet the Woodward girls demolished both PA feeder schools in three meetings this year. They dispatched Roosevelt twice by scores of 39-15 and 60-19 and put away Stevens 41-8.

And all the lopsided scores weren’t the only thing that was significant.

“We taught them the same things that we taught our junior varsity teams – with girls two and three years older – and they could handle it,” Beemer pointed out.

Perhaps these girls will be handling something else in four or five years: a state championship trophy.

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