Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Hailey girls open cage season as road warriors

Lots of travel as 2005-06 basketball season debuts

There are some encouraging signs as the 2005-06 Wood River High School girls' varsity basketball team kicks off its season this week with road games at Filer and Jerome.

Sixth-year head coach Brent Carnduff (61-52) is positive, and he's even putting a good shine on the tough early-season schedule that has Wood River playing seven of its first nine games away from home.

"We go on the road quite a bit early this year, but that means we get to come home later in the season when we tend to be a little more tired," said Carnduff, helped again by varsity assistant Katie Oneida. Indeed, the Wolverines play eight of their final 11 games at home.

Of course the opposite situation held true for Wood River (3-18) last winter—more road games at the end of the season—and the Wolverines (29.8 ppg offense, 47.7 ppg defense) dropped 12 of their final 13 games including their last seven in a row.

Another huge plus for Wood River is the elimination of some very tough 4A schools from the 20-game schedule. Century of Pocatello along with Skyline, Bonneville and Hillcrest of Idaho Falls are all gone. The Wolverines were 0-8 against those four teams last year and were outscored 26.7 ppg on the average. Bonneville won the State 4A title 41-40 over Blackfoot, a team that remains on the Wood River schedule.

Carnduff said, "We've tried to make changes so there is less travel. And we've added teams that are more traditional rivals." 4A Wood River has added 3A Filer and Kimberly, 2A Challis and 5A Idaho Falls.

Wood River graduated its first-team All-Great Basin Conference West point guard Syringa Stark (8.0 ppg with 20 3-pointers) and honorable mention selection Laura Johnson (6.4 ppg), a leading rebounder.

Despite the losses, Carnduff is enthusiastic about the new team.

He said, "I'm disappointed the numbers are down (23 players practicing from grades 9-12), but we've got a lot of good, young kids who are out playing. The varsity team isn't very experienced. We do have more depth as far as kids who have played. And it's a really united and hard-working group. I really like the kids."

One of the new floor generals in Carnduff's "point guard by committee," is 5-9 sophomore Hannah Ward. "There may be a few growing pains with Hannah, but I'm comfortable with her as point guard and confident in her ability," said Carnduff.

Seniors are forward/wing Jamie Stone and Utah transfer student Cyndi Ochoa. The juniors are Jordan Scanlon, Kristen Miniard, LeighAndra Roberts and Casey Vegwert. Sophomores are Lauren Morgenthaler and Ward. Another varsity player is Kat Demovicova.

Wood River will play a one-post offense with its tallest starter, 6-1 Morgenthaler (76 points for 3.6 ppg last winter). "Lauren gives us a strong inside game. After Lauren our height drops off fast," Carnduff said.

So does the scoring. Miniard scored 62 points last year and Stone added 50 points, which means the Wolverines will have to make up a lot of the offense lost to graduation.

There are good chances to keep games competitive, although the Great Basin Conference West will be a tough nut to crack this winter.

Last year the Wolverines beat Buhl twice, and Buhl dropped its opening game 49-4 to Snake River at Moreland Saturday. Wood River opened its season Tuesday at Filer—the Wildcats coming off a 67-27 home loss to American Falls Friday.

The Jerome Tigers (11-14), the pre-season Great Basin West favorite after finishing in second place last year, will host Wood River Friday, Nov. 18. Jerome dropped its opener 61-46 at home to Century Saturday. The other West contender, Burley (1-0), won 50-39 at American Falls.

Last year's Great Basin West and Great Basin Conference champion Minico of Rupert (22-4) lost 10 seniors and is expected to watch as Jerome and Burley duke it out for the West league title and automatic state tournament berth. Third at state last February, Minico (1-1) split its season openers at home last weekend, losing 49-43 to Meridian while beating Mountain View 47-42.

Carnduff said, "The league will be tough this year."

Junior varsity coach Trudy Weaver has welcomed a team including Chelsea Broadie, Curry Arnold, Dani Stone, Kori Wagner, Lacie Anderson, McKenna Murphy and Tasha Karst.

On the freshman team coached by Amanda Steed are Allie Freund, Angela Coleman, Hanna Gustafson, Molly Mittmann, Nicole Fisher, Sloan Brandon, Samantha Engel and Shelby Grubbs.


2005-06 WRHS Girls Basketball Schedule

A total 20 games on the regular-season schedule for the 2005-06 Wolverine girls; 10 home and 10 away. All home games at Wood River High School gym, Hailey. General admission $5. Wood River's home varsity/JV games are denoted in bold type. Fourth District 4A matches are marked with an asterisk (*). The Great Basin Conference includes 7 teams—WR, Jerome, Burley, Minico, Pocatello, Century and Preston. Also listed are 17 ninth-grade games.


Varsity, junior varsity


Nov. 15, Tuesday Filer Away, 6:00/7:30

Nov. 18, Friday Jerome* Away, 6:00/7:30

Nov. 22, Tuesday Kimberly Away, 6:00/7:30

Nov. 23, Wednesday Blackfoot Away, 6:00/7:30

Dec. 3, Saturday Buhl Home, 6:00/7:30

Dec. 8, Thursday Minico* Rupert, 6:00/7:30

Dec. 10, Saturday Challis Away, 6:00/7:30

Dec. 12, Monday Filer Home, 6:00/7:30

Dec. 16, Friday Gooding Away, 6:00/7:30

Dec. 17, Saturday Idaho Falls Home, 6:00/7:30

Dec. 22, Thursday Burley* Home, 6:00/7:30

Jan. 3, Tuesday Gooding Home, 6:00/7:30

Jan. 5, Thursday Minico* Home, 6:00/7:30

Jan. 10, Tuesday Buhl Away, 6:00/7:30

Jan. 13, Friday Jerome* Home, 6:00/7:30

Jan. 14, Saturday Challis Home, 6:00/7:30

Jan. 17, Tuesday Idaho Falls Away, 6:00/7:30

Jan. 19, Thursday Burley* Away, 6:00/7:30

Jan. 24, Tuesday Blackfoot Home, 6:00/7:30

Jan. 25, Wednesday Kimberly Home, 6:00/7:30

Jan. 31, Tuesday District 4A (high seed hosts) TBA

Feb. 2, Thursday District 4A (high seed hosts) TBA

Feb. 4, Saturday District 4A (elimination game) TBA

Feb. 6, Monday District 4A (championship game) TBA

Feb. 9, Thursday 4A playoff (4B vs. 5B) TBA

Feb. 11, Saturday Playoff (4-5C vs. 6B) Highland, Pocatello, 1:30

Feb. 16, Thursday State 4A Timberline High, Boise


Ninth grade


Nov. 14, Monday Minico Home, 5:00

Nov. 15, Tuesday Filer Away, 4:30

Nov. 18, Friday Jerome Away, 4:30

Nov. 21, Monday Burley Away, 6:30

Nov. 22, Tuesday Kimberly Away, 4:30

Nov. 28, Monday O'Leary Twin Falls, 6:30

Dec. 3, Saturday Buhl Home, 4:30

Dec. 5, Monday Stuart Home, 5:00

Dec. 8, Thursday Minico Rupert, 6:00

Dec. 10, Saturday Challis Away, 4:30

Dec. 12, Monday Filer Home, 4:30

Dec. 14, Wednesday Burley Home, 5:00

Jan. 4, Wednesday O'Leary Home, 4:30

Jan. 10, Tuesday Buhl Away, 4:30

Jan. 11, Wednesday Stuart Twin Falls, 5:00

Jan. 13, Friday Jerome Home, 4:30

Jan. 14, Saturday Challis Home, 4:30

Jan. 16-18 Ninth grade district tournament TBA


NOTES—The Fourth District (WR, Jerome, Burley, Minico) gets 1.25 berths in the State 4A tournament—meaning the league champion automatically goes to state, while the runner-up team must win two playoff games against eastern Idaho teams to advance. The league tournament is high seed hosts, match-ups #1 vs. #4 and #2 vs. #3..... Tiebreakers in the event of ties in the District 4 league go to overall record and then to common records against Great Basin Conference opponents.....In opening-round state match-ups at Timberline High in Boise, the 4th/5th District champion plays the District 3 (Boise-area) runner-up; the 4th/5th District runner-up goes against the the 1st/2nd District champion; while the winner of the 4-5C vs. 6B playoff plays the District 3 champion.....Booster athletic season tickets for all Wood River sporting events during the 2005-06 school year are available. They are $100 for a couples pass, $75 for an individual season pass and $35 for a middle school student pass. Drop by the high school and see athletic director Ron Martinez. Senior citizens 65-and-over are admitted free to Wood River sporting events.

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