2A Canyon Conference Preview
Written by Hailey Stewart
Players to Watch
Aryana Kahalioumi, Declo
After posting a 25-8 overall record, during the 2019-2020 season, the Declo High School girls basketball team will look to replicate last year’s successes and move even further in the championship bracket.
With a winning season against its only conference opponent and a strong overall season, Declo flew into the 2A State Tournament. However, the team lost in the third place game against Melba.
Under the head coaching direction of Ashley Baker and Justin Silcock, the Declo girls are hoping to gain momentum this season with several new players on the varsity team.
Baker said junior shooting guard Kamden Peterson and sophomore point guard are expected to make an impact on the court this season.
However, these players will have to make up for the skills gone due to several graduated seniors. Shooting guard Sydney Ramsey, an aggressive and competitive shooting guard, will be missed, Baker said. Other former key players such as Katelin Mallory, Amanda Bott, Brooke Olsen and Abbie Ramsey, will also be missed for their leadership on the court.
“They were all solid contributors every game and had such heart. We will miss them, but look forward to a new group of athletes who are ready for their turn to make Declo great,” Baker said.
Boasting a large group of players with previous varsity experience, Baker believes the Hornets will continue forward with another strong season.
“We have a few Juniors with a lot of good varsity experience already. A couple of them were starters for us last year and a big reason we were successful,” Baker said.
While preparing for this season, Baker said the team shot “thousands of shots over the summer” and have been providing a strong sense of leadership on and off the court for the younger players starting on the varsity lineup.
“Despite everything going on, they have only matured and improved as players,” Baker said.
Baker and the team are working on keeping a more deliberate and steady offensive tempo this season. Knowing that the error of rushing the ball could lead to more mistakes than points, Baker said she wants Declo players to have the patience to take the best possible shot.
“We will continue the Declo way — preaching aggressive defensive play, an up-tempo offense, and a love for the game and each other,” Baker said.
This year, however, the competition becomes even larger with the addition of Valley High School joining the 2A Canyon Conference.
“Valley and Wendell will both be worthy opponents and we look forward to playing them this year,” Baker said.
Previously in the 1ADI Snake River Conference, the Valley High School Girls Team joined the 2A Canyon Conference due to a higher enrollment this year.
Last season, the Valley Vikings posted a middle-of-the-road season with a 12-13 overall record. Valley ended with a 4-4 conference record during the 2019-2020 season.
Looking to blaze a stronger path in a new conference, this year’s Vikings will once again be led by Jamie Kohtz.
As of Valley’s most recent winning matchup against Wendell on Dec. 8, the Vikings record currently sits at 6-2. With the 2020-2021 season underway, Valley’s prospects are looking up with a new mentality in a new conference.
After losing every matchup against their only conference opponent Declo last season, the Wendell Trojans will have even more competition to look out for this season with the addition of Valley joining the conference.
Wendell posted a 6-13 overall record during the 2019-2020 season. The Trojans currently sit with a 3-3 record as of their last loss to the Valley Vikings on Dec. 8.
Head Coach Robert Lamm and his team will look to bring a more aggressive game to the court this season.