Melba High School
Conference: 2A Western Idaho Conference
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Head Coach: David Lenz
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Previous Experience: 11 seasons in Melba program (Freshmen/Junior Varsity and Varsity assistant)
Record Last Year: 7-16
State Titles: None
Kristi Pentzer (JV)
Chris Hinderlitter (Freshmen)
Dennis Lenz/Chris Young (Varsity Assistants)
G Emma Clark (Soph)
G Callie Young (Sr)
Returning Players with Honors:
Emma Clark, 1st Team All-WIC
Callie Young, Honorable Mention All-WIC
Incoming impact players:
F Kate Wilson (Sr)
G Kori Pentzer (Jr)
G Tinsley Christensen (Jr)
G MeKenna Manzer (Jr)
G Cheylah Volkers (Jr)
F Allie Herman (Jr)
F Kelsi Capps (Soph)
F Mary Ellen Cossel (Soph)
Written by: Will Hoenike
First-year Melba head coach David Lenz has a built-in leaping-off point for his Mustangs this season – after a rough start to the season, the team broke even down the stretch, putting itself in position to make noise in the district tournament.
Yes, the 0-8 start was tough. But the 7-8 finish, which included three losses to rival Marsing by a total of 12 points, points to better days ahead for the program.
It starts with returning all-conference guard Emma Clark and her back-court running mate, Callie Young, who was honorable mention all-conference. Clark received her accolades as a freshman, meaning Lenz has a key building block in the red and black for three more seasons. Having those two back gives Lenz confidence going into the season.
“There is a lot to be excited about with this year’s team,” Lenz told the Preview. “I think we will play a style of basketball that is fun for the girls to play, as well as the fans to watch.”
“It is also a style of play that I believe will help us compete for a district championship this season.”
Helping to shape Lenz’s goals is a deep junior class – guards Kori Pentzer, Tinsley Christensen, MeKenna Manzer and Cheylah Volkers along with forward Allie Herman – along with senior forward Kate Wilson.
“I believe this year’s team will have the ability to get up and down the floor as we have an athletic group of girls,” Lenz observed. “We also have a number of girls who will be able to contribute on the offensive end, so I expect to have a nice balance on offense this season.”
Lenz will also have sophomore newcomers Kelsi Capps and Mary Ellen Cossel up front to add depth to the team’s front court.
Melba will challenge itself right out of the gates. The 2A Mustangs will play five of its first eight games against 3A opponents and, by the time it is all said and done, will have played home-and-home sets against 3A foes Parma, Payette and Weiser. But, at the end of the day, Melba’s fate will be determined in January and February, when it enters Western Idaho Conference play with an eye on the top of the standings.
“Cole Valley (Christian) won the league last year,” Lenz concluded. “I think they will be the team everybody has circled on their schedule.”