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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of  November 7 - 13, 2001


WRHS girls aim high, shoot for state

2001-02 cage season opens Friday against Wendell

Express Staff Writer

There is one clear objective for the Wood River High School girls’ varsity basketball team as the 2001-02 season begins.

State. At Bishop Kelly.

Coach Brent Carnduff’s Wolverines want to be playing basketball on Valentine’s Day 2002 when the State 3A tournament tips off at Bishop Kelly High School in Boise.

It would be a first.

This is Wood River’s 27th season playing high school girls’ basketball. The closest the Wolverine girls have been to state was in 1980, when Bishop Kelly beat them 69-54 in a playoff at Mountain Home.

No playoff will be required this season. The Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference gets two of the eight State 3A berths in 2001-02, so all an SCIC team has to do is make the SCIC tournament title game to make state.

"We really have a chance to be in our league’s championship game," said Carnduff. "We have experience and senior leadership. It’s by far our most dedicated group."

The Wolverines open their 20-game regular-season slate Friday, Nov. 9 with home non-conference games against the Wendell Trojans at the high school gym in Hailey.

It will be "Pack the Gym Night," a way to attract more spectators and get the basketball season off to a strong start, Wood River athletic director Ron Martinez said.

Friday’s game is one of only three home engagements for the Wolverines prior to Christmas, since the majority of the Wood River home games are in January this season.

Because the Wolverines "are so much farther ahead," at this point compared to last year’s 12-11 team, Wood River is looking to get off to a strong start and carry it through the favorable home schedule in the new year, Carnduff said.

"The girls have played a lot of basketball," said the second-year head coach, who guided the Wolverine junior varsity for five years prior to 2000.

Not only will Wood River try to improve upon back-to-back third-place finishes in the SCIC tournament, the Wolverines will try to post three consecutive winning seasons for the first time in school history.

Leading the way is senior guard Laurel Williams. She has a decent chance to become Wood River’s all-time leading scorer. Williams has also been a winner. Her three WR teams have a 36-35 combined record.

Wood River’s top scorer the last two seasons, Williams (239 points, 10.4 ppg last winter) has 421 points in three campaigns. Out in front are Tara Pyle 639 and Rebecca Torresdal 626.

It’s not all about Williams.

The 2001-02 Wolverine varsity is "10 deep, and all can play," said Carnduff.

Other seniors are Amanda Engel and B.J. Adams; post Tara Rushton (6.6 ppg); and 6-1 center Kristine Hilt (8.7 ppg).

The three other returning varsity players are junior guard Kelly Haisley, sophomore center/forward Natalie Green (3.8 ppg) and sophomore wing/post Jessica King.

Rounding out the varsity are sophomore wings Emily Smith and Liz Rippon.

Carnduff said, "We have put in a different man-to-man offense. It’s a little more structured with a lot of screens designed to get the ball back into Laurel’s hands. She has the green light to shoot anytime.

"We want to make sure we spread our offense because we know other teams will focus on our post players."

The quickness of its post players will be one of Wood River’s strengths. Carnduff expects Wood River’s ballhandling to improve, which should cut down on the turnover problem the Wolverines have had.

Defensively, Wood River will build on last year, Carnduff said, when the Wolverines held opponents to 38.6 ppg and won four of their final six games of the season.

He said, "Yes, we came on strong at the end of the season. We’ll play a lot of man-to-man, but also a basic zone and a match-up zone that is a little more aggressive. We’ll try to keep other teams off balance. And we’ll press a little."

The strength of the Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference is likely to be defending champion Declo and SCIC runner-up Buhl. Both programs are accustomed to going to state, Buhl winning it all in 1997.

Declo was 20-7 last winter but went 0-2 at state. Buhl finished 20-8 and won the state tournament consolation championship for the second time in three years.

"Everybody is chasing Declo again," said Carnduff about the Hornets, who return three All-SCIC players, all seniors. "They lost a couple of role players but are solid. Buhl will be fairly decent this year."

Carnduff’s varsity assistant is Sandy Sanders. Returning as junior varsity coach is Darcee Barber. The first-year freshman coach is Mark Sauvageau, who was Carey School’s varsity girls’ coach last winter.

"I think we’ll be strong at all three teams, with a lot of depth on the JV team," said Carnduff.




2001-02 WRHS Girls Basketball Schedule

A total 20 games on the regular-season schedule for the 2001-02 Wolverine girls; 9 home and 11 away. All home games at Wood River High School gym, Hailey ($4 adults, $3 students, seniors free). In general, freshman games at 4:30 p.m., JV games 6 p.m. and varsity 7:30 p.m. Home games in bold. Wood River's 10 Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference 3A games identified by an asterisk.



Nov. 9, Friday Wendell Home, 4:30/6/7:30

Nov. 15, Thursday Carey Away, 6/7:30

Nov. 16, Friday Valley Hazelton, 6/7:30

Nov. 20, Tuesday Carey Home, 6/7:30

Nov. 27, Tuesday Wendell Away, 4:30/6/7:30

Dec. 1, Saturday Declo* Away, 4:30/6/7:30

Dec. 4, Tuesday Buhl* Away, 4:30/6/7:30

Dec. 6, Thursday Glenns Ferry Away, 4:30/6/7:30

Dec. 11, Tuesday Filer* Away, 4:30/6/7:30

Dec. 13, Thursday Gooding* Away, 4:30/6/7:30

Dec. 15, Saturday Declo* Home, 4:30/6/7:30

Dec. 28, Friday McCall tournament McCall, TBA

Dec. 29, Saturday McCall tournament McCall, TBA

Jan. 3, Thursday Kimberly* Home, 4:30/6/7:30

Jan. 5, Saturday Valley Home, 6/7:30

Jan. 8, Tuesday Gooding* Home, 4:30/6/7:30

Jan. 15, Tuesday Filer* Home, 4:30/6/7:30

Jan. 17, Thursday Buhl* Home, 4:30/6/7:30

Jan. 22, Tuesday Glenns Ferry Home, 4:30/6/7:30

Jan. 24, Thursday Kimberly* Away, 4:30/6/7:30

Jan. 28, Monday SCIC tourney Kimberly

Feb. 14, Thursday State 3A tournament Bishop Kelly HS

NOTES—Senior Night is the Jan. 22 game against Glenns Ferry....The state-qualifying Fourth District SCIC 3A varsity tournament opens Monday, Jan. 28 at Kimberly High School and continues Tuesday, Jan. 29 and Thursday, Jan. 31. It wraps up Feb. 4-7. The top two teams automatically qualify for the State 3A tournament Feb. 14-16, 2002 at Bishop Kelly High School in Boise.



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