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Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy

School Info
Conference: 2A Central Idaho League
Classification: 2A

Head Coach: Doug Grant

Years as Head Coach: 3

Previous Experience: 13

Record Last Year: 10-13

State Titles: None

Team Preview

Written by: Will Hoenike

Coeur d’Alene Charter girls basketball coach Doug Grant doesn’t hesitate when asked which game he expects fans to be the most fired-up for.

“Grangeville,” the head coach quickly offered. “Someone has to knock them off the top and we have been closing the gap. It will come down to our inside game versus their perimeter shooting.”

The Panthers, coming off a 10-13 season, may be in prime position to make a run at the top of the 2A Central Idaho League standings. Grant returns several key players, including a pair of All-CIL post players in Sarah Haman (Sr., 5’11”) and Jacklyn Jensen (Jr., 6’2”).

“Our offensive philosophy is that it must go through our posts,” Grant said. “And we count on them to make great decisions with the basketball.”

Having Jensen and Haman down low certainly gives the Panthers a good leaping-off point. The coaching staff hopes players step forward to create more depth, alleviating concerns about foul trouble.

The Panthers also return a trio of guards – Anna Verhaeghe (Sr., 5’9”), Abby Bartlett (Jr., 5’7”) and Mae Alexander (Soph., 5’9”) – to go with Jensen and Haman, giving Grant and the Panther fans good experience. Amelia Lehosit, an aggressive and athletic newcomer to the Panther varsity program, only figures to add to the weapons at Grant’s disposal.

Grant expects his guards to be able to provide pressure defensively on the opposition, with Jensen (shot-blocking ability) and Haman (rebounding) on the back end to clean up and start the ball headed the other direction. On offense, he hopes improved outside shooting takes some of the pressure off his inside players.

If those pieces come together as he anticipates, the Panthers could challenge for a state tournament berth.

Grangeville was the only representative from the CIL to qualify for the 2A state tournament last season and, after an opening-round loss, the Bulldogs wound up winning the consolation title.

The Panthers were swept by the Bulldogs last season, hanging with the league champs at home before struggling in Grangeville. The team’s first shot at redemption? Right after the New Year, on the home court, as Grangeville comes to Coeur d’Alene on January 3.

CdA Charter will need to take care of business on its home floor – the team plays ten straight at home between December 10 and January 17 before closing the regular season

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