December 1, 2011 in Sports

GNL Preview Basketball

 

Clear-cut favorites

The way the coaches see it, there won’t be much of a chase for the boys and girls league titles. Pullman’s boys and Clarkston’s girls are runaway selections.

West Valley’s boys will be in the mix, though. And the East Valley and Cheney girls will battle for no worse than second and third.

Returning all-leaguers

In the boys, one first-team pick returns in junior Corey Langerveld of Pullman. Second-team returning picks are West Valley sophomore Jake Love and Deer Park senior Zach Mohr.

In the girls, all five first-team picks graduated, but the league’s most valuable player, senior Jamie Weisner of Clarkston, is back. Second-team picks back are senior KC McConnell and senior Ashley Meyers of Clarkston, senior Allie Brown of Cheney, junior Anna Guo of Pullman, senior Alicia Christiansen of East Valley and senior Tessa Heins of Deer Park.

What they’re saying

Boys: WV returns three starters and four other lettermen. The Eagles graduated league MVP Brady Bagby, but the players who return are poised to pick up the load. WV coach Jay Humphrey says experience and speed are team strengths. “These kids have experienced success and seem to want more,” Humphrey said. “If we play as a team and stay healthy, we could be a factor in the playoffs.” … Former Rogers assistant Joel Soter takes over at Cheney. He has two starters and three lettermen to build around. He notes speed, work ethic and scoring ability as team strengths. “We are very excited with the group we have and the system we have in place,” Soter said. “Our guys are willing to work hard and do whatever it takes to be successful.” … EV returns just one starter. “We have several shooters but only one post player,” Knights coach Drew Vanderpool said. … Clarkston, co-champ last year, suffered the most to graduation, losing all starters. “We’re a young and inexperienced team, but we feel like we have an exciting group,” Clarkston coach Justin Jones said. “Our goal is to grow and improve each week through the first half of the year and hopefully be able to compete in a tough (league) the second half of the season.”

Girls: Clarkston returns four starters off a 17-6 team that finished first in league (10-2). “Four of five starters are players who have played on the varsity for most of all four years,” Clarkston coach Scott Thompson said. It’s a smart team, too. The Bantams were the 2A academic state champions last year. The Bantams added to their depth with the addition of transfer Sierra Higheagle, a 5-foot-9 senior from Lapwai, Idaho. … Carey Schwarzer takes over at Medical Lake and has two starters back. “Our goal is to give each of our opponents a competitive game and to improve our overall record from last season (5-16),” Schwarzer said. … Cheney has four reasons to believe it will be in the hunt for a league title – four returning starters to go along with some depth. Cheney coach Jennifer Harmer likes her team’s height, speed and experience. …EV also brings back four starters and depth. “We will have good team speed and chemistry,” EV coach Rob Collins said. “We will be a little stronger in the post and we will be a better defensive team.” … WV suffered big hits in graduation and transfers. WV brings back one starter while two potential starters moved out of district.

Predicted finish3. Cheney6. East Valley
1. Pullman4. Clarkston7. Medical Lake
2. West Valley5. Deer Park
Predicted finish3. Cheney6. Medical Lake
1. Clarkston4. Pullman7. Deer Park
2. East Valley5. West Valley

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