Blackfoot High School
Conference: 4A District 5-6 Conference
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Head Coach: Courtnie Smith
Years as Head Coach: 2nd Season
Previous Experience: Century 2000-04 Head Coach, Marsh Valley Head Coach 98-2000
Record Last Year: 3-22
JV - Jared Arave
Freshman- Paul Moore
Allie Cannon, Point Guard, Sophomore
Olivia Arave, Power Forward, Sophomore
Anicia Luna, Guard, Senior
Key Players lost from last year:
Sami Macfee, Guard
Incoming impact players:
Kylee Callister, Power Forward, Senior
Written by: Matt Harris (@IdahoSportsMatt)
There were a lot of growing pains for the Blackfoot Broncos last season.
Blackfoot finished 3-22 overall in 2015-16, going two-and-out at the district tournament. However, that team was loaded with youth – youth that now has plenty of varsity experience. Second-year head coach Courtnie Smith believes that her program can begin to rise from obscurity and begin the process of re-establishing themselves in the conference.
“We want to have the 5C’s of a Champion – Character, Compassion, Confidence, Courage, and Commitment,” she said. “We have to be consistent in these areas.”
Smith believes that her team can achieve the consistency that she desires.
“My players get along, they love the game and each other,” she said. “They want to win and to improve the program. This team will accomplish some great things because of this.”
The Broncos will have to navigate their way through the schedule minus last year’s leader, Sami MacFee. The now-graduated guard led the charge for Blackfoot last season.
“Sami was the heart of our team. She was our best defender and led the way for us in steals,” Smith said.
While the Broncos will be without MacFee, they do return a mix of youth and experience to the roster. On the guard line, sophomore Allie Cannon and senior Anicia Luna will lead out. Up front, sophomore Olivia Arave will look to battle underneath from the power forward position. Senior transfer Kylee Callister, who moved in from Preston, will provide much needed depth on the block as well.
Smith says that the extra depth will certainly help in mitigating their number one concern from last season – rebounding.
“We have to control the boards every night if we want to be competitive,” she said.
While the Broncos look to improve in that category, the duo of Luna and Arave are expected to excel with on-ball defense. Smith said they are always “around the ball making things happen”.
Offensively, Blackfoot struggled to score last year, often finding themselves in the 20-30 point range. Smith believes that it’s a matter of consistency for her crew.
“We need to be more consistent with our shooting from behind the arc and have less turnovers,” she said. “We’re hoping our experience will impact our consistency on the offensive end.”
Consistency is a big key for any team, but especially in the tough 4A District 5-6 Conference. Now that Rigby has moved up to 5A, Blackfoot finds themselves with two new conference mates in Idaho Falls and Skyline (who dropped down to 4A). And of course, the trio of Century/Preston/Pocatello awaits from the 5th District. While Smith feels that the conference will be down overall in 2016-17, she believes that it’s going to be fight night-in and night-out.
“Century, of course, will be tough – but they are beatable,” she said. “Pocatello will be tough, especially at home. Preston is a team to watch out for too.”
While the Broncos are rebuilding, Smith says there is one thing that can accelerate the process: attitude.
“That’s our X-Factor to the season. These girls need to start believing that they can win. When they believe that, Blackfoot basketball can start to win again.”