Emmett High School
Conference: 3A Snake River Valley Conference
Head Coach: Katie Walton
Years as Head Coach: 3rd year
Previous Experience: Rocky Mountain
Record Last Year: 1-20
Written by: Vince Trimboli
The Emmett Huskies move from the 4A Western Idaho Conference to the 3A Snake River Valley Conference is a welcome change for girls basketball coach Katie Walton.
“We have more in common with the schools in the SRV,” said the third year head coach and 2003 Emmett graduate. “We have to pull athletes for all sports and that’s similar with the other schools in the SRV. The bigger schools have more kids that are dedicated to one sport and that was a big disadvantage for us.”
At times Emmett competed hard, but more often than not the school based in rural Gem County found itself in the middle of the WIC standings (in all sports). The girls’ basketball team was 1-21 last year. But the Huskies have several experienced players back and some young talent in the program.
“We played in the SRV when I was in high school and it was fun for the rivalry purposes,” Walton said. “It was pretty even and I’m excited to rekindle the old rivalries…I think it’s going to be good for the girls. It will give us confidence and that can lead to success."
“We had a really good summer. We played against a lot of (the SRV) teams and competed well against them.”
The Huskies return five players, including three starters. According to Walton, senior Chauncy McMillan has come into her game this year. “I’m excited to see what she can do,” said the coach of her 5-foot-8 forward that started last year and averaged around eight-points per game.
Junior forward Jessica Lyter (5-foot-7) adds an outside shooting threat. “Her shot is beautiful. When she gets hot, she’s hot.”
Sophomore point guard Maddy Tucker came up midway through freshman year and led the Huskies in scoring a few games. Tucker is another shooting threat and will be the team’s primary ball handler.
“We’re really young and not big inside. We’re going to have to spread out the court and rely on our outside game,” Walton said. “We’re going to have to rely on scoring in transition and creating one-on-one opportunities and outside shooting opportunities.”
The consensus from SRV coaches is Fruitland, Weiser and Homedale are the teams to beat. But the coaches from those teams all feel Emmett will make the conference better.
“I see up being competitive,” said Walton who played basketball, volleyball and softball in college. “We’re working hard every day and the past is the past. This is a new team this is a new year and we don’t need to dwell on the past.
“This is a fresh start and we get to make a new name for ourselves in the SRV.”