Orofino High School
Conference: 2A Central Idaho League
Head Coach: Jesse Daniels
Record Last Year: 3-18
State Titles: 1950
F Cassidy West (Sr)
F Ally Sommers (Sr)
Incoming “impact” players:
G Nicole Sparano (Fr)
F Clara Peterson (Fr)
Written by: Will Hoenike
The 2A Orofino Maniacs girls basketball team must see a light at the end of the tunnel. Coming off a difficult 3-18 season, head coach Jesse Daniels’ roster features just two seniors – post players Ally Sommers and Cassidy West - among its 12 players.
So the remaining ten juniors, sophomores and freshmen will gain valuable experience this season, lending hope to not only an improved 2015-16 season, but future seasons to come.
And the results have been positive in the early going. At the time of this writing, the Maniacs had won three of their first five games and its two losses were by a combined total of nine points. The three wins came in a span of five days, giving the program forward momentum it hadn’t felt in a while.
Further, the 45 points the team put up in a win over Clearwater Valley in November was only surpassed once in 21 games during the 2014-15 season. And four of the five games played were on the road.
Daniels doesn’t have a ton of size in his program, but most of the size he has is young. Five-foot-nine post player Casey Tighe is a junior. Freshman Clara Peterson is 5-foot-8. Two more freshman gaining valuable playing time on the junior varsity team are also 5-foot-8.
Junior guard Mayra Rodriguez has shown the ability to score for Coach Daniels’ team and, at 5-foot-7, brings some size to the perimeter.
The Central Idaho League has consistently produced very competitive teams at a state level at the 2A tournament. Dating back to 2009, the CIL has had a team reach the semifinals six of seven seasons, including the 2011 title game that saw Grangeville defeat Kamiah (which has since dropped to 1A). Grangeville itself has reached at least the 2A semifinals in five of the past seven seasons. Translation – it’s a difficult hill to climb for the Maniacs. Beyond usual conference toughie Grangeville, Coeur d’Alene Charter (like Orofino) shows signs of being a program on the rise. And St. Maries has put competitive teams on the floor as well.
Perhaps the benchmark games will be the two matchups against Coeur d’Alene Charter – in Coeur d’Alene on January 16 and at home on January 30. The Panthers won both matchups last season by double digits and bring a competitive squad to the floor this season. The Maniacs should eye those games as more opportunities to let the rest of the CIL know they’re on the upswing.
How far will the 2015-16 Orofino girls basketball team go? Only time will tell. But the program seems to be trending in the right direction.