Girls basketball previews

Posted 12/3/13

Alameda: The Pirates were a struggling program last season finishing near the bottom of 4A Jeffco.

The Pirates could not keep up with teams that had high-powered offenses but could play with teams that were more defensive-minded.

But Alameda …

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Girls basketball previews

Posted

Alameda: The Pirates were a struggling program last season finishing near the bottom of 4A Jeffco.

The Pirates could not keep up with teams that had high-powered offenses but could play with teams that were more defensive-minded.

But Alameda hopes to improve dramatically offensively this season behind sophomore Preshus Nash.

As a freshman last season Nash led the team in scoring and steals, and was third in rebounds. Nash could now emerge as one of best young players in the league, but she will also need help if Alameda wants to climb up in the win column.

Nash and fellow sophomore Holly Dock will hope to improve on last season’s 2-21 record (1-13 in league).

Arvada: After a fast start that had them 5-3 early on last season the Arvada Bulldogs struggled once they got into league play.

Arvada won only a single game from that point on finishing 6-16 (1-13 in 4A Jeffco). The Bulldogs were okay offensively but struggled defensively.

However, this season looks to play out differently as Arvada returns both of its top scorers.

Senior Kelly Lehnerz returns along with her nearly 14 points per game average last season. Lehnerz and junior Nicole Garcia could be an underrated impact duo.

Bear Creek: The Bear Creek Bears could make the biggest jump in 5A Jeffco this season.

Last season the Bears finished in the bottom half of their league standings with a 10-14 record (6-10 league).

In nine of those losses Bear Creek was in position to win games but couldn’t close the deal.

But this season after a little more seasoning the Bears might be ready to break out behind two returning talents.

Junior Edina Krusko and senior Amber Gray were the team’s two top scorers and both worked extremely hard in the offseason to improve on those numbers — which should lead to closing out games better this season.

D’Evelyn: Last season the D’Evelyn Jaguars ran all the way to the 4A state championship game but fell to Pueblo South.

The Jaguars were a good enough team to win the title, Pueblo South was just better that day.

However, D’Evelyn hopes to use that loss as motivation to win it all this season, and they have the goods to do it as they graduated only one player.

And while that player was a true leader, this version of the Jaguars could be even better. D’Evelyn returns three different players who averaged double figures last season, along with basically the entire team.

As crazy as it sounds the Jaguars could actually improve on last year’s 26-2 record (perfect 14-0 in league). D’Evelyn could very well have one of the best teams not only in Jeffco but in Jeffco history this season.

Faith Christian: The Eagles struggled and finished near the bottom of 3A/2A Metropolitan league last season.

The Eagles finished 7-14 overall (2-7 in league) but they were also one of the youngest teams in their league, losing only two seniors.

In addition, they lost nine of those games by single digits and looked close to being a pretty good team.

This season Faith Christian has designs on finishing near the top of its league standings behind returning senior Cassaundra Rindels.

Rindels was the team’s leading scorer and go-to gal last season, and this season she and junior Carson Cambier could help the Eagles back to the top of the league standings.

Golden: If there is one team in 4A Jeffco that might have a shot to hang with D’Evelyn this season it is the Golden Demons.

Golden lost only a single player to graduation and returns its two top scorers. One of those players is senior Haley Blodgett, who not only lead the team with over 13 points and nearly 12 rebounds per game last season, but is certainly the greatest physical force in all of Jeffco (both 4A and 5A). Look for a big improvement over last season’s fourth place 12-12 finish (9-5 league).

Blodgett and fellow senior Jessica King will most certainly lead the Demons near the top of league — but topping D’Evelyn will be a mighty challenge.

Green Mountain: The Green Mountain Rams were a very pleasant surprise last season.

The Rams finished second in 4A Jeffco with a 14-10 record (9-5 league) and got red-hot during one stretch of the season, winning 11 of 14 games.

And this season Green Mountain has returning stud Kelli Van Tassel who is already looked at as one of the best players in the league.

Van Tassel and her seven returning teammates will most definitely make some noise in 4A Jeffco this season and perhaps even in the playoffs.

The only problem for the Rams this season is that they are in the same league as D’Evelyn and Golden.

Jefferson: The Jefferson Saints struggled on both ends of the floor last season finishing near the bottom of the 3A Frontier league.

After a good start to its season Jefferson struggled to keep up with teams offensively finishing 3-17 overall (1-10 in league).

But this season the Saints expect a significant improvement. Jefferson graduated just two seniors and have several of its key players returning including junior Carina Wilson and senior Essence Sanders Johnson.

Looks for the Saints to march out of the basement and towards the top of league.  

Lakewood: The Lakewood Tigers fell just shy of a league title last season but they might have just needed one more year.

The Tigers finished second in a crowded 5A Jeffco behind champs Ralston Valley with a 21-5 (14-2 league) record.

Their only two league losses came to the Mustangs, both close games, but Lakewood thinks they can get over the hump this season.

Senior Jessica Brooks returns as the team’s leader and leading scorer but she also has help. Brooks and sophomore MaKenzie Forrest both return and will provide the Tigers with a new look. But if they can overcome Ralston Valley is unknown.

Pomona: The Pomona Panthers finished at the bottom of 5A Jeffco last season but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Pomona had better overall records (9-15 overall, 4-12 in 5A Jeffco) than three other teams in its league and just two fewer losses than the third place team on Jeffco. But the Panthers didn’t win enough within its league.

But that was last season. This season Pomona has senior Dominique Riley returning as well as junior Alexa Zarlengo.

The pair hopes to provide enough punch to get the Panthers out of the basement of 5A Jeffco  

Ralston Valley: The Ralston Valley Mustangs finished last season as 5A Jeffco champs, a perfect 16-0 in league play.

In addition, after a 23-3 season that included a pair of playoff victories, the Mustangs have set the bar in their league.

If they can maintain that standard is yet to be determined. Ralston Valley lost both of its leading scorers but they have senior Sierra Galbreath returning.

Galbreath and fellow senior Amanda Lefholz look to keep the league title in their possession, but they will be pushed by several teams this season.

Wheat Ridge: The Farmers struggled in a very talented 4A Jeffco last season.

This season they hope to become one of those very talented teams.

Last season the Farmers finished in the bottom half of their league going 4-18 (4-14 in league).

Wheat Ridge won only one of the first 13 games but improved in the second half of the season.

But the Farmers lost only two players and have a dozen with varsity experience coming back.

Junior Tasha Taylor and senior Erika Land will provide Wheat Ridge with a much-needed offensive one-two-punch. If the duo can get support from the rest of the cast, Wheat Ridge could be much improved.

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