ELGIN – Confidence will play a critical role in the success level Elgin’s girls’ basketball team enjoys this season, according to new head coach Brett Sanders.
“We’ve improved quite a bit (during preseason) and I’m happy with that improvement, but we still have to find ourselves and I’m hoping we can build our confidence as the season goes on,” he said. “We can be a really good team.”
The team, led by five returning seniors, must also learn Sanders’ new offensive and defensive schemes. In addition, Elgin’s volleyball and softball players just joined the team three weeks ago. Elgin will employ a dribble-and-drive offense to go with a single-post scheme that is sure to take advantage of the team’s height. Defensively, the Lady Owls will play a pressure man-to-man scheme “95% of the time,” Sanders said.
Sanders will also use a “five player in, five player out” rotation that will incorporate 10 players most of the game.
“Learning a new system is a gradual process, but they’re coming along,” said Sanders who has coached high school basketball for 35 years. Sanders previously coached at Newcastle where he stayed for eight years.
Returning seniors are Elizabeth Peak, a 5’11” senior forward and twin sister Kirsten Peak (5’11”, senior forward). Other seniors are Taylor Squyres (5’9” senior guard), Kegyn Wendel (5’6” senior guard) and Kinley York (5’6” senior point guard). The only junior on the roster is center Addyson Choate.
Underclassmen fill out the remainder of the roster. Sophomores at point guard Madi Nez, forward May Kessler, forward Kelly Langford, forward Braisley Wilson, guard Alex Hollowell and guard Kylie Wood.
Freshmen are 5’11” forward Kaydence Kern, 5’10” forward Danica Pendley, 5’10” post player Kelby Carter and point guard Maycee Hill.
Elgin begins the season at Altus followed by play in the Dale Tournament Dec. 8-10. The Lady Owls play their first home game Tuesday, Dec. 13 against Duncan. Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m.