Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Twelve months ago, Hayden girls basketball coach Jayme Adams was caught a little off guard when the first game of the season arrived a bit quicker than she had hoped.
"Our first game seemed to come too soon last season, but this year it can't seem to come soon enough," Adams said. "Our girls are very excited about this season, and they are expecting some big things to happen for them."
After going 7-14 in her first year as head coach, Adams is optimistic that the Tigers will turn things around in 2005 and make a run at the league title. The team was able to upset a lot of top teams at the end of last season. Plus, the Tigers are coming off a solid summer of training.
Despite last year's final record, Adams was pleased with the way the Tigers played down the stretch. Hayden beat Soroco and nearly upset Grand Valley in the semifinals of the district tournament.
This year, the Tigers have six seniors, two juniors and a sophomore on the roster. Most of the team's seniors were starters on last year's team.
Seniors Jamie Waugh, Aly Boyd, Whitney Bell, Kim Medvesk and Lauren Branstetter are expected to make up this year's starting lineup.
However, the lineup is not set in stone, and the coach said there might be a few last minute changes before Thursday's opener against Dolores, which is at 6:30 p.m. at the Meeker Tournament.
Adams said senior Jennifer Davis and juniors Mariah Doolin and Sara Sumerlin also could start this season. Even if they don't start, Adams said she expects those players to contribute to the team's efforts on the court.
Adams said the Tigers will feature an athletic roster, but she admits that team will be lacking some size on the court.
Boyd is the team's tallest player at 5-foot-9 and will play the center position for the Tigers. The team's next tallest player is Whiteman. The 5-foot-8 sophomore will play forward or post depending on the set and should provide a little extra size to the Tiger's lineup.
Waugh, Branstetter and Doolin are under 5-foot-7. Bell is a great outside shooter, but is only 5-foot-5, and Davis, who will play point and off guard this season, is just 5-foot-2.
"We are not going to have a lot of size this season, but we will have a lot of athleticism," Adams said.
Although the Tigers are not expected to dominate inside this season, Adams is hopeful the team will create plenty of offense from the perimeter.
She realized last year that size was going to be a problem and dedicated the summer training program to improving the Tiger's outside shooting attack. She even brought in a special shooting coach to give her team a few pointers.
"We are going to have to be able to shoot from the outside," Adams said. "Last year teams that could shut us down on the inside normally beat us."
Medvesk will fill the role of point guard, and Branstetter, Sumerlin and Davis will take turns filling the off-guard guard slot or possibly playing forward.
Adams thinks the Tigers will be competitive against other teams in the Western Slope's 2A league. She expects Grand Valley, Paonia and Meeker to be tough, but said she isn't sure about Soroco, West Grand or Plateau Valley this season. Those teams will open the season with new coaches. North Park will play in the league but will not be in Hayden's district tournament. Enrollment in Walden will allow the Wildcats to play up a division during the regular season and drop down to 1A for the post-season. Adams said the results from the contests against North Park will count toward league standings, but the Walden team will be set aside when it comes to seeding the district tournament.