PRESEASON COACHES POLL
2. Garden Valley
3. Salmon River
6. Horseshoe Bend
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Lotus Harper, Salmon River
Emily Diaz, Salmon River
Emma Hollon, Tri-Valley
Larissa Hanse, Tri-Valley
Katy Wentz, Garden Valley
Josey Jones, Tri-Valley
Gracie Castillo, Garden Valley
1ADII Long Pin Conference Preview
Written by Jamey Vinnick
While Tri-Valley might be the consensus favorite for the upcoming season, there’s a handful of teams looking to challenge the Titans, led by Garden Valley. With returning guard Katy Wentz, Garden Valley is looking to rebound after a 5-13 year and might also get some help from incoming freshman Gracie Castillo. After a tough year, head coach Mike Chandler is looking forward to get going on another season.
“I’m excited about the improvements we’ve made from last year and the addition of some key freshmen. We’re gonna be quick-paced on offense, and mix up between zone and man on defense,” Chandler said. “We’re an experienced group with no seniors leaving and we’re gonna bring both dedication and intensity.”
Salmon River head coach Paula Tucker said Garden Valley has some great talent and could be a force in the conference.
Speaking of Salmon River, the Savages are another team that hopes to challenge Tri-Valley, especially considering they return two all-conference players in Emily Diaz and Lotus Harper. Salmon River had a remarkable 21-3 season last year but will have to adjust after losing 1ADII All-Idaho Player of the Year Chevelle Shepherd (now at the College of Idaho.)
It’s going to be a small squad for the Savages this year, but that isn’t causing head coach Paula Tucker’s hopes to waver at all.
“As of now, we only have six players committed to playing, so I’m excited to see how those six will handle the adversities of practice and games with so few bodies,’ Tucker said. “With six players, our up-tempo style may have to be modified and each player will need to step up and be an impact player. We will have a completely different look this year as we have relied on Chevelle (Shepherd) for scoring, steals and leadership for the last four years and to fill her shoes each player will have to take on a much bigger role than they have in the past. We will definitely have some growing pains but the kids we have are tough and competitive so it should be a fun challenge to see what they can accomplish.”
A third team hoping to challenge for the top of the league is going to be Council. The Lumberjacks are hoping to improve on a 12-12 record last year, although it may be a tough task initially with Chelsie Testa, Sydney Williams and Shyann Getusky. Head coach Dan Shumway will likely be looking to a group of seniors including Amber Glenn and Kylie Shumway along with sophomore guard Sydney Nichols to carry the load for the team.
“I’m excited to see how we come together. With a senior-heavy class last year, we want to see these new seniors step up into leadership roles. We will lean heavily on our seniors, but we have some really talented young sophomores and freshmen who will play key roles as well,” Shumway said. “We only have one junior, a post, we are looking to see build off of last year. We are also really hoping to see Kylie (Shumway) on the floor all year as well as for the past three years she has battled knee injuries with last year resulting in a bone graft. We are a physical team but hope to run more this year. Defensively this group is fairly versatile playing both man and zone. Our depth will probably determine which we play more often. This group just needs time on the court playing together as a team.”