Butte County High School
Conference: 1AD1 High Desert Conference
Classification: 1A D1
Head Coach: Carla Hansen
Years as Head Coach: 2nd Season
Previous Experience: Jr. High and Junior Varsity Basketball Coach
Record Last Year: 7-16
State Titles: 3 (2006-07, 2012)
Who do you have coming back this year?
Ashlyn Taylor - 5'10 SR Post
Maisy Smith - 5'11 JR Post
Macy Hansen - 5'7 Soph Guard
Daisey Bernal - 5'7 Soph Wing
Bailey Chambers - 5'9 Soph Post
Any “Key Players” that you lost from last year?
Matea Pearson - Shooting Guard.
Written by: Matt Harris
The 2013-14 campaign for the Butte County Lady Pirates was a season full of growing pains.
Growing pains for all seven players in the program.
As it tends to happen from time-to-time in small communities like Arco, the wave of a small class or two can affect the number of players you see on a bench or in a program.
That trend is moving in a positive direction for head coach Carla Hansen however.
"Last year, we did not have enough girls in the program to form a JV team", she said. "This year, we will be able to field a JV team, which will provide more playing time for all the girls. Playing time is an important factor in developing players."
For the five returning members of the Lady Pirates, they received PLENTY of development time on the court last year.
Butte County brings back 5'10" senior post Ashlyn Taylor, a physical presence defensively on the low block. Place alongside her a 5'11" junior shot-blocking post in Maisy Smith, and the Pirates are off to a good start.
Add in returning scrappy sophomore guards Macy Hansen and Daisey Bernal, along with sophomore post Bailey Chambers and the Lady Pirates have a good, young core to build on.
Hansen mentioned the new, incoming freshman class that is loaded with talent as being a stabilizer to the program.
"Our players' experience from last year combined with the freshman class should greatly improve the strength of our program", she said. "The freshman are eager to learn and play at the next level."
With having a limited amount of bench players last year, there were things that Hansen wanted to, but could not, implement on the court.
"We hope to be able to press a little this year", she said. "Hopefully we can control the boards too."
Offensively, a large chunk of the burden to put points on the board fell on graduated shooting guard Matea Pearson. This year, that scoring effort will need to be more balanced.
"Matea provided great leadership for the younger girls last year", Hansen said. "Her scoring ability will certainly be missed."
Hansen noted that finishing at the rim will be a key point of emphasis throughout the year for her squad, who finished 7-16 last year. Having a small amount of substitutes that could play in the low post forced the Lady Pirates to score more from the outside.
With the new classification cycle in effect, the new three-team 'High Desert' conference comprising of Butte County, Challis, and Grace, Hansen know that when the league schedule rolls around, her team will have to be ready.
"Games against Grace and Challis are important this year", she said. "Ultimately, only one team from our conference advances to state, so the stakes are very high for these games."
With a program that is re-building, some coaches might worry about the commitment to the program. However, Hansen is not concerned, noting how the community loves the sports programs at Butte County.
"The commitment of the players and parents is very impressive to me", she said. "During a typical year, we have players and parents who literally drive thousands of miles and devote countless hours to this sport. Not to mention the fund raising projects and service projects throughout the year. I appreciate my players and their parents for that alone."
With commitment comes improvement, and with improvement comes accomplishments, which is something Hansen enjoys the most.
"I love the game. I love the competition and working with these talented athletes. I like to see their improvement over the years and I take joy in their accomplishments."