2010-11 girls prep basketball preview capsules | PostIndependent.com
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2010-11 girls prep basketball preview capsules

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jeff Caspersen Post IndependentCortney Cordova, right, and her Rifle teammates are hoping for a smooth adjustment to the 3A Western Slope League.
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With high school winter sports springing into action throughout the area, the Post Independent will be taking the next few days to preview what’s ahead.

Here’s a school-by-school look at what to expect on the girls basketball front:

Head coach: Bryan Derby, fifth season.



How the Demons fared in 2009-10: Glenwood finished up with a 13-11 overall record and qualified for the 4A state playoffs. The Demons dispatched of Montezuma-Cortez, 59-54, in the first round and then lost to Conifer, 62-48, in the second round. In the 4A Western Slope League, Glenwood finished behind Rifle, Steamboat Springs and Moffat County.

Key players: Senior Kenzie Kuhn, junior Lexie Warkentin, junior Cassidy Gaddis, senior Hannah McDermott, junior Connor Adams, sophomore McKenzie Nelson-Buehler.



Up-and-coming players: Freshman Laura McDermott, freshman Delaney Gaddis, freshman Taylor Contour.

Key losses: Sarah Treese.

Prognosis for 2010-11: Led by Kuhn, a senior guard who was the team’s leading scorer last season, and a strong supporting cast, the Demons are tooled for a winning season.

If all goes well, what’s the best the team can accomplish? “I’m hoping to win league this year,” Derby said. “That’s our goal, and that’s what we’re going to try and do.”

Head coach: Rick Schmitz, fourth season.

How the Titans fared in 2009-10: The Titans authored quite the postseason run in 2009-10, finishing fourth in the 3A WSL district tournament and then making the eight-team state tournament in Fort Collins by winning a pair of games as the 27th seed in the 32-team state playoffs.

Key players: Senior Ashlie Bowles, senior Chasity Gonzales, senior Carly Cloninger.

Up-and-coming players: Senior Melessa Starbuck, senior Kayla Reece, junior Ciara Chacon, sophomore Cassidy Blackard, freshman Paige Ryan, freshman Alicia Hampton, freshman Allie Ehlers.

Key losses: Sam Wilson, Tori Verdieck, Brianna Rhodes, Chelyn McCain, Chelsie Ryan.

Prognosis for 2010-11: Losing five seniors to graduation, Coal Ridge has some holes to fill. Schmitz-coached teams tend to find a way to win, though.

If all goes well, what’s the best the team can accomplish? “My hope is to improve each week and be competitive in our league,” Schmitz said.

Head coach: Mike Johnson, 12th season.

How the Cardinals fared in 2009-10: Grand Valley went 18-5 and finished second to champion Olathe in the 3A WSL. The Cardinals lost to St. Mary’s Academy, 38-28, in the first round of the state playoffs.

Key players: Senior Shawnee Young, senior Amelia Sudick, senior Jessica Bell, senior Brandi Krieg.

Up-and-coming players: “We’ve got a few really good sophomores and four really good freshmen,” Johnson said.

Key losses: Erin Vanderpool, Tiffany Tittes, Tiffany Waugh, Karmen Steimel.

Prognosis for 2010-11: The Cardinals always seem to put together winning seasons. With some young talent coming up through the program, they could make some noise yet again. Seniors Young, Sudick, Bell and Krieg will also have a big say in how far Grand Valley goes.

If all goes well, what’s the best the team can accomplish? “I really feel like, at the end of the year, we can be right back in the state tournament and battling to advance,” Johnson said. “Last year was obviously disappointing. We showed up in the state tournament and did not play well. We really feel we can get back there.”

Head coach: Stephanie Heald, third season.

How the Bears fared in 2009-10: Rifle ran the table in the 4A WSL, winning the title with a 14-0 record. The Bears finished up 19-5 overall, advancing to the Sweet 16 round of the state playoffs, where their season ended with a 64-54 loss to Cheyenne Mountain.

Key players: Senior Cortney Cordova, senior Makayla Wilkins, senior Rachael Keithley.

Up-and-coming players: Sophomore Jasmine Figueira.

Key losses: Ciara Euler (moved to Illinois).

Prognosis for 2010-11: With most of their key players back from last year’s 4A WSL title team, the Bears have all the pieces to contend for the 3A WSL title this season. Olathe, a state tournament qualifier last year, will likely be their biggest obstacle. With quick hands that yield many a steal and an ability to put points on the board in droves, Cordova is one of the best guards on the Slope. Wilkins is a speedy point guard. On a team that relies more on its quickness than its size, Keithley will be Rifle’s leader down low. Heald also likes what she has seen from sophomore Figueira, who might end up playing some post.

If all goes well, what’s the best the team can accomplish? “A lot of people have high expectations for us making it to state over at CSU,” Heald said. “Of course, that will definitely be our goal. We’d love to make it over there and show we’re that good of a team. For us, though, we’re just trying to get better one game at a time and learning what it is to be in a new league.”

Head coach: Justin Perdue, first season.

How the Rams fared in 2009-10: It was a down year for the Rams, who finished 0-20 overall.

Key players: Junior Sharlene Salinas, junior Kaleigh Wiswroth.

Up-and-coming players: Sophomore Megan Gianinetti, sophomore Hattie Gianinetti.

Key losses: Alli Zeigel.

Prognosis for 2010-11: Perdue, who’s taking over for the outgoing Nancy Zeigel, likes the core of talent his program has to work with. Juniors Salinas and Wiswroth lead the way. The twin Gianinetti sisters, both right around 6 foot, have been showing big promise, Perdue said. As for Perdue, he spent last year as Roaring Fork’s junior varsity coach and is eager to grab the varsity reins.

If all goes well, what’s the best the team can accomplish? “If we keep working hard and staying motivated, I feel like we can be a good team in the Western Slope League,” Perdue said.

New-look 3A Western Slope League: With Rifle dropping down into the Class 3A ranks, the boys and girls 3A Western Slope Leagues will have a new look to them in 2010-11.

In order to free up schedules for more non-league contests, there will be two divisions: North and South.

Comprising the North will be Aspen, Basalt, Roaring Fork, Coal Ridge and Rifle.

The South will be made up of Grand Valley, Cedaredge, Hotchkiss, Olathe and Gunnison.


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