Fruitland High School
Conference: 3A Snake River Valley Conference
Head Coach: Beth Holt
Years as Head Coach: 11th season
Previous Experience: Payette
Record Last Year: 13-11
State Titles: None
Photo By: Steve Conner - #52 Brooke Teunissen
Written by: Vince Trimboli
The 3A Snake River Valley Conference will be stout this year. The conference champions Homedale return leading scorer Tory Lane. Emmett drops down from 4A. Weiser returns several starters. Oh and don’t forget about the perennial powers in Fruitland.
The Grizzlies were down a bit last year. Still, they did what they had to in the District-3 Tournament, coming from the loser bracket, to earn second place and a berth into 3A Girls Real Dairy Shoot-out. They went two and out at the state tournament. But they gained valuable post season experience.
“It was great to get there, to get the state experience for these kids and for many it was their first experience,” said 11th year Fruitland head coach Beth Holt, who has led her team to state nine seasons (only missed in 2006 and 2012).
The Grizz could be due another trip this year. Holt returns five starters, including four seniors and one junior. Plus two more seniors are coming up from junior varsity.
Senior post (#52) Brooke Teunissen (6-foot-3) averaged eight points and seven rebounds per game last year. She was First-team all SRV. Pretty good accomplishment for Teunissen who also played other sports, was a cheerleader and is a 4.0 student in the classroom.
Holt said this about her top-scorer. “She has a different focus this year. She’d like to play (in college). She is focused on basketball. She has set high goals for herself. She stronger and she knows what she has to do to play at next level.”
Along with Teunissen, (#40) senior post Makenna Little (5-foot-8) is back for her fourth year on varsity, third year as starter. According to Holt, Little worked hard on foot work and got stronger in the off-season. “She’s already a good shooter and rebounder and now you add more quickness to her feet and it’s another weapon for us.”
Holt also brings back the sister duo of senior shooting guard Haley Collins and junior point Mackenzie Collins. Also add to the mix senior guard, defensive stopper, Emma Farmer and seven players from the District Champion junior varsity team. Fruitland will need the deep bench and can use the “speed” it has deploy its up-tempo style and aggressive man-to-man defense.
“If we can buy into everyone excepting their role,” said Holt, “we have a great shot at being successful.”
The Grizzlies play a difficult and diverse schedule that includes Vale, Baker City, Kuna and Sugar-Salem – a perennial 3A power from Eastern Idaho.
And as already mentioned, the conference will be very top heavy with Homedale, Weiser, Emmett and Parma will be a pesky team despite losing a lot of talent.
“Our conference is going to be tough. I think it’s going to be a dog fight,” Holt said. “We have to be focused every night. It’s so much easier to be a coach that way knowing that every game is going to be difficult.”