Sandpoint High School
Conference: 4A Inland Empire League
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Sandpoint High School Team Bio
Head Coach: Duane Ward
Years as Head Coach: 4th Season
Record Last Year: 15-10
State Titles: None
Grace Kirscher, 12, G
Grace Hicks, 11, F
Katherine Kaul, 12, G
Trinity Golder, 12, G
Returning Players with Honors:
Grace Kircher, Conference Player of the Year and Eastern Washington University commit
Key Players lost from last year:
Taylor Ward, G
Photo By: Willy Harris - #33 Grace Kirscher
4A Inland Empire League
Written by: Sven Alskog
PRESEASON COACHES POLL
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Grace Kirscher, Senior, Sandpoint
Trinity Golder, Senior, Sandpoint
Gracey Meyer, Senior, Moscow
Hannah Broyles, Junior, Moscow
Sidney Carscallen, Senior, Moscow
Sofi Schnepf, Senior, Lakeland
Lauren Cooper, Junior, Lakeland
It was somewhat of a down year for the 4A Inland Empire League in the 2016/2017 season, with both Moscow and Lakeland winning six games or less and state tournament representative Sandpoint finishing 10-13 after a 15-win season and a third place finish at state the year prior.
This season it looks like a little bit more of a wide-open conference, with Moscow and Sandpoint the favorites on paper to head down to the state tournament in February.
The Bears are led by seven returning players from a year ago, who gained valuable experience through some bumps in the road that they hope will pay dividends this time around.
All-Conference performer Gracey Meyer highlights those returners from the forward position, while having Katie Kitchel back from an ACL injury and having junior Hannah Broyles to rely on will be important as well.
“[We are] up-tempo on offense, but will need to get better at making decisions and finishing. All players need to be better at rebounding, creating more shot opportunities on offense and finishing the defense. We want to improve on putting personnel in positions to be successful,” said seventh year head coach Robin Barnes.
Sandpoint has made four consecutive trips to the state tournament, and led by Eastern Washington commit Grace Kirscher and fellow senior Trinity Golder, hope to make it five in a row this year.
Kirscher is a front-runner for Conference Player of the Year accolades yet again, but the Bulldogs will need the supporting pieces around her to step up in a big way. Dawson Driggs has the potential to be one of those options.
During her junior year, Kircher averaged over 16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals, earning All-State honors in the process.
Coaches up north expect Lakeland to have a size advantage over many of the teams they face this season, which could help the Hawks to improve after a 3-win season last year.
“They always play their best ball at the end of the season. Might have a huge height advantage,” added Barnes.
Senior Sofi Schnepf and junior Lauren Cooper are expected to lead the way for the Hawks, who will need some newcomers to step up in a big way in order to surprise some people in the new campaign.