Voices

With Wealth Of Young Talent, Central Valley A Legit Contender

GSL girls basketball

A year ago, only one point separated fourth place Central Valley and fifth-place University in three basketball games.

This season could bring more of the same when the two rivals do battle in the Greater Spokane League.

CV’s young team seven were varsity sophomores a year ago - is being mentioned as a possible challenger for first place.

“We have everybody back,” said coach Dale Poffenroth. “We have no size but are quick and can shoot the ball. We are way ahead of last year.”

University, while without three key players from a year ago, can build around six veterans.

“People will drop us because we lose those three people,” said coach Bob Finn. “But I think we have four people who can average 10 to 15 points a game. If you score 50 to 60 in this league you win those games.”

Mead, the defending GSL champion, and Ferris are rated the league’s top two teams. Expect CV to be close behind and the Titans to be in the playoff picture as well.

Too many players is Bear dilemma

If Poffenroth has a problem it is that he has too many quality players to choose from.

“I hope it’s a good problem,” said Poffenroth. “It was this summer.”

Upwards of 14 athletes, only three of them seniors, have varsity potential.

But no more than 10 will be able to play this year.

“I hope they understand,” said Poffenroth.

So far, he said, the players seem to and they get along well.

The Bears are different from last year when the youngsters lost seven of their first nine games before winning nine of their last 12.

“We’re way ahead of last year,” said Poffenroth. “I didn’t know who we were or where we were going. This year we have a better mix and I know where they fit.”

Seniors are Carrie Sanders, Sandra White and Jessica Ault.

Letter winning juniors are scoring Katie Carpenter and Crystal Lee, forwards Ginger Clark, Marcy MacPhee and Angie Dahlgren and twin guards Angela and Andrea Kallas.

Four sophomores vying for varsity are likely starter Rikki Jackson, Jenny Coyle, Lindsey Shoquist and Tiffany Schmidt.

Fitting them in is Poffenroth’s concern. He’ll suit 14 players for varsity in certain games and will only have 10 on varsity in others.

“Players who started don’t necessarily want to be on the bench,” said Poffenroth. “What you will see is that we substitute and not miss a lot.”

If the players understand their roles, CV will be a title contender.

Titans hope to surprise GSL foes

Realistically, said Finn, University will be figured somewhere in the middle of the GSL.

“We have no superstars,” he said.

Of U-Hi’s 10 varsity players, eight are seniors and two are sophomores. There are only two juniors in the entire Titan program.

Six players are back from last year’s fifth-place league team that took CV to the wire in the district tournament. Joining them is a Bear transfer.

Included are third-year players Sally Jamison, Stephani Shelton and Sydney Perno. Perno is a physical 6-footer ranked among the state’s best post players. Last year, however, she fouled out of nearly every Titan game.

“One thing we’re doing is getting her from living on the block to keep her in the game longer,” said Finn.

Second-year varsity members are Adrienne Wilson, Emily Stuenkel and Tracie Vlahovich. Wilson is a talent waiting to emerge.

“She is taking it seriously, not just as a hobby,” said Finn. “She has realized she can play.”

Joining them from CV is senior post player Julie Hinckley. Also on varsity is senior Denise Yost and sophomore additions guard Crystal Conant and post Katie Oglesbee.

Stuenkel can shoot and the other seniors are scrappers. If Perno stays in the game and Wilson realizes her star potential, University will surprise.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo



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