The Knappa girls basketball team lost their two all-leaguers to graduation, but — as they always do — the Lady Loggers are reloading, and ready to make another strong run in the Northwest League.
Coach Marie Green always takes the positive approach: “We have a good, solid group of returners coming back, and everyone — even the sophomores from last year — can step into that leadership role. It’s going to be fun.”
The loss of Kaitlyn Landwehr and Devin Vandergriff to graduation will be felt, but, life goes on, Green said.
“You can’t replace; you can only hope to find people who have that drive, compassion and coachability,” she said.
“Gaston is going to be good,” Green said. “They still have Charity (Hall), and they only graduated one last year. They’ll be tough when we start league.
“Faith Bible will be good, because they still have the Fajer sisters (Katie and Sarah). They’re both fantastic players.
“If anyone were to run away with it, it would be Faith Bible, just because Eddie (Kirkpatrick) runs a tight ship, and the two sisters can score 50 points combined if they had to.”
THE LADY LOGGERS
As for her own team, Green is confident that her returners — plus another strong incoming class of freshmen — can make up for the loss of Landwehr and Vandergriff.
Senior Paris Vanderburg is ready to be the focus player, Green said.
“Her shooting selection and confidence at practice has been fantastic. She really wants to make her last year special. And I know she’s going to do well.”
Green will carry 10 players on the varsity, with seniors including Vanderburg, Ressa Inman, Mack Strain and Emma Taggert.
The junior class returns Laicee Hendrickson and Kourtney Tischer; and sophomores with varsity experience include Sophia Carlson, Aiko Miller and Madelynn Weaver.
Knappa has eight sophomores and six freshmen ready to add depth, including Sydney Phillips, a 6-0 sophomore transfer from Warrenton.
“We also have a 6-1 freshman, so we’re finally getting some height,” Green said. “Sophia Carlson grew two inches from last year. Madelynn, Sophie and Aiko make us strong at the guard position. Right now, we’re split with five guards and five posts.”
Green will be assisted by Tracie Brockey and Amanda Isom.
Knappa Girls Basketball
Coach: Marie Green, 4th year
2016-17: 9-13 (8-8 league)
Playoffs: Defeated Gaston, lost to City Christian in league playoffs.
All-league losses: Kaitlyn Landwehr, Devin Vandergriff