Cole Valley Christian High School
Conference: 2A Western Idaho Conference
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Head Coach: Bret Moehlman
Years as Head Coach: 6th Season
Previous Experience: 14 total seasons
Record Last Year: 22-3
State Titles: None
G Miriam Edes (Sr)
G Paige Albers (Sr)
G Katelin Baker (Sr)
G Jilia Branahl (Jr)
P Madeline McHugh (Sr)
P Ace Hahs (Jr)
P Holly Golenor (Jr)
Returning Players with Honors:
Golenor (WIC Player of the Year, 1st Team All-State)
Edes (2nd Team All-WIC)
Albers (Honorable Mention All-WIC)
Key Players lost from last year:
Lindsy Westedorf (1st Team All-WIC, 4-year starter)
Sarah McClure (Senior, knee injury sustained during summer will keep her out this season)
Incoming impact players:
G Karina Olson (Soph)
P Savannah Khoury (Fr)
Written by: Will Hoenike
It’s not often you see a team lose two All-Conference caliber starters and remain the strong favorite to remain atop the standings, but that’s what we have at Cole Valley Christian this season.
Head Coach Bret Moehlmann’s squad went 22-3 last season – its two regular-season losses were by a total of three points – en route to a Consolation championship in the 2A State Tournament. Gone from that team is four-year starter (and All-Conference guard) Lindy Westendorf and, unexpectedly, four-year varsity player Sarah McClure. The second-team All-Conference selection as a junior suffered an injury over the summer that is expected to keep her off the court during her senior year, but Moehlmann is quick to say that she’s still a part of the team.
“This is her fourth year on the varsity team,” Moehlmann pointed out. “Her leadership and knowledge will continue to benefit us.”
Despite Westendorf’s departure and McClure’s injury, Moehlmann has plenty of arrows in the quiver as the season begins (the Chargers have won their first four games by an average of more than 20 points per game). Leading the way is returning Western Idaho Conference Player of the Year and first-team All-State honoree Holly Golenor. Golenor, just a junior, averaged 12 points and ten rebounds per game as a sophomore.
She’s hardly alone, though. The Chargers also return All-Conference honorees Miriam Edes (2nd Team guard) and Paige Albers (honorable mention guard) along with contributors Katelin Baker (senior guard) and Madeline McHugh (senior post). Those five form a solid core that will be augmented by junior Ace Hahs, junior Julia Branhal, sophomore Karina Olson and freshman Savannah Koury, each of whom will be vying for playing time for what appears to be a deep Cole Valley Christian team.
“The team has inside-out balance,” Moehlmann observed. “Holly (Golenor) draws a lot of attention from opposing defenses and that opens up opportunities for other players to get good looks. Paige (Albers), Miriam (Edes), Ace (Hahs) and Savannah (Khoury) all have a scorer’s mentality and will be heavily involved in our offensive game plans.”
The good offensive balance is combined with a commitment on the defensive end of the court. Last season, the Chargers held nearly half of its opponents (12 of 25) to 31 points or less.
“’Team’ defense is critical,” Moelhman continued. “Each girls owns her effort and rotations … this team is aggressive and athletic. We emphasized our man defense this past summer and will look to continue to improve there.”
The Western Idaho Conference will be no walk in the park – New Plymouth is a perennial contender and Melba seems primed to challenge for a State Tournament berth – but Cole Valley Christian deserves the early attention it is receiving. Barring injuries, the Chargers will be a strong candidate to win the WIC and reach the 2A State Tournament in February.