Valley High School
Conference: 1AD1 Snake River Conference
Classification: 1A D1
Head Coach: Brian Hardy
Years as Head Coach: 4th Season
Previous Experience: 14 years Varsity girls at Valley
Record Last Year: 16-10
State Titles: 2001
#13 Jacob Henry, 12, Forward
#20 Ben Taylor, 12, Guard
#21 Taylor Coates, 12, Guard
#22 Garrett Mussmann, 12, Guard
#23 Jesus Mora, 12, Forward
#31 Jake Nelson, 12, Forward
#32 Doug Elorrieta, 12, Center
#34 Juan Damian, 12, Forward
“Key Players” lost from last year:
Cole Lickley, Forward, He was a big part of our team but he missed almost the entire season with an injury so we had to learn to play without him a year earlier than expected.
Incoming “impact” players:
4 Juniors that played some Varsity action last year and stayed with us and brought a lot to our practices through the state tournament. They will be counted on in larger roles this year.
Written by: Sven Alskog
To say it is a senior-heavy group this season on the hardwood in Hazelton for the Valley Vikings would be an understatement.
Head Coach Brian Hardy has eight seniors at his disposal, led by talented guards Ben Taylor and Garrett Mussman. Along with the strong duo on the outside, Jacob Henry and Doug Elorietta should help lead an interior that will have its hands full in a conference featuring more size than in years past.
The depth for the Vikings should help them stay competitive on a nightly basis.
“With our depth, the guys will need to understand their role each day in practice and in games. They need to realize all the different ways you can impact the game in a positive way. Individual stats will be irrelevant to us this year because the minutes and points will be divided up amongst a dozen or more players,” said Hardy.
That depth creates an opportunity in the early season to experiment with combinations on the floor to see what works best.
“I feel that we have good depth and versatility. All of our guys can play multiple positions. We have to find ways to get Ben Taylor good looks, but we also have to develop other guys in,” said Hardy.
Offensively the Vikings will look to get the ball in the paint on a more frequent basis, also looking to improve the team shooting percentage. On the other end, things look pretty strong.
“We can play a variety of ways defensively. I believe Garrett Mussmann is one of the best lockdown defenders I’ve ever coached,” said Hardy. “We have to be better on the defensive glass, not foul and give teams free throws.”
All the returners give plenty of promise heading into the new year.
“Having a lot of guys returning is always a plus,” said Hardy. “You feel like it gives you a head start at the beginning of the season. It’s our job to get better as the season goes on, just like inexperienced teams do. I am really excited about how hard these guys will work and how competitive our practices will be.”