4A girls basketball action begins | PostIndependent.com

4A girls basketball action begins

Jeff Caspersen and Baron Zahuranec
Post Independent Staff
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent file

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Coach Bryan Derby called his 2008-09 Glenwood Springs basketball girls the smartest group he’s ever coached.

His Demons will need those smarts to overcome the loss of a talented group of graduates who left the program on the heels of a 4A Final Four appearance in 2007 and Great Eight showing in 2008.

Led by the senior quartet of Katrina Selsor, Natasha Derby, Laura Young and Breanna Richardson, the Demons are coming together nicely in practice. They’re quickly picking up a new offense, one that caters to their speed and lack of height.

“So far we look pretty good,” Natasha Derby said. “We’re not as tall as we have been, so we have to be fast. We’ve been conditioning pretty hard. Hopefully we’ll be in shape in time for league.”

The tallest Demon on the roster is Selsor at 5-foot-11. She also happens to be the team’s point guard, though she’ll probably play just about everywhere before the season’s done.

Selsor, who earlier in November signed a letter of intent to play ball at CSU-Pueblo, is also Glenwood’s top returner. As a junior, she averaged 12.9 points, 6.4 assists, 5.8 rebounds, 2.8 steals and one block a contest.

Coach Derby is calling on Selsor and her fellow seniors to step up and help lead this year’s team.

“I’m really looking to them for leadership,” the third-year coach declared. “A lot of them have been to the Final Four and Elite Eight with me. I’m looking for them to be a big part of this program.”

Derby also has a potential-packed group of freshmen joining the program.

“We’re looking to some of them to really help this team out,” he said. “There are four or five freshmen doing really good.”

Richardson agrees.

“Oh yeah,” she said. “They’re great. They’re so much fun.”

Glenwood gets its season going Tuesday at Summit.

RIFLE, Colorado ” Leading the Rifle girls hoops program is first-year coach Stephanie Heald, and she knows what she’s getting into this year. She knows all of her girls, since she was the junior varsity coach the last three years.

“They’re going to have to work hard ” nothing is going to come that easy,” Heald said. “As of now, we need to work on our togetherness. Yeah, they can do it on their own, but this is a team and everyone needs to be involved.”

Last year, the Bears were 13-11 overall and 9-5 in 4A WSL action.

Like in years past, Rifle doesn’t have a big squad, but they will be fast.

“Looking at the girls, I know for a fact that we have to be a running team,” Heald said.

“I feel pretty good about what we have going so far, but we do have a lot of young girls and new people at the varsity level.”

The Bears have seniors Sandy Samson and Kelsey Pyle and junior Quincey Snyder returning.

Snyder averaged 7.5 points and 5.8 rebounds and Samson averaged 6.8 points and 4.2 rebounds.

“We’re going to ask Sandy to score and lead this team. Quincey can shoot the three and post up. She has a real offensive mind, and Kelsey is probably going to be our defensive leader,” Heald said.

Defensive passing lanes will get clogged up by the young, quick hands of sophomores Cortney Cordova and Ciara Euler.

“They can get there on defense, break up passes, and get the fast breaks going,” Heald said.

Heald thinks Rifle will fight for one of the top spots in the league and will have to deal with strong Glenwood Springs and Moffat County squads.

“The three of us are going to battle it out,” she said. “If we play like we know we can, the girls will show everyone how good they really can be.”

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