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Greenleaf Friends Academy

School Info
Conference: 1AD1 Western Idaho Conference
Classification: 1A D1

Head Coach: Gina Ihli

Years as Head Coach: 2nd season

Record Last Year: 4-20

Assistant Coaches:
Gordon Reed
Wendy Heckathorn

Team Preview

Written by: Vince Trimboli

The Greenleaf girls won only four games last year, but half of those victories came in the district tournament. It’s a fact that gives head coach Gina Ihli (pronounced I-lee) some encouragement heading into her second season.

“We’re building our program. It takes a few years to do that,” said Ihli. “I’ve got girls working hard in the off-season. It’s really showing in practice.”

Ihli said the problem last year was inexperience and troubles in the second half. Several games the Grizzlies either led or were close at halftime. But were beaten badly in the second half. With four returning varsity players and a summer of hard work under their belts, she’s hoping to see a change.

“We’re conditioning like crazy this year,” Ihli said. “Everyone has to be in shape and make sure to do what it takes to finish strong.”

Four players return with varsity experience including senior point guard Hannah Radford. A 2nd team Western Idaho Conference performer last year, Radford is a great ball handler and a scoring threat averaging around nine points a game last year. “She see the floor very well,” said coach Ihli.

The coach’s daughter, junior post Faith Ihli average nine points a game last year. She is a post presence controlling the back boards and she’s versatile enough to take the ball down the court.

Senior guard Taya Wilson is a three point shooter and defensive presence. Junior wing Sky Lujan is a defensive specialist lauded by her coach for being quick and smart. “She’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen. If I have one person I want to stop on the other team, Sky is the one to shut them down.”.

According to Ihli, last year the Grizzlies had several close games in the first half, but got beat badly in the second half. She’s going to run a motion offense in hopes of slowing the game down. She said the Grizzlies want to screen on and off the ball and set up the offense so the post players touch the ball as much as possible.

“We’re trying to gear toward our strengths,” Ihli said.
The Grizzlies will face a stiff challenge in the 1A WIC. Liberty Charter, Notus and Idaho City are the teams to beat.

If Greenleaf can find a way to stay competitive going into the fourth quarter, with their presence inside the Grizzlies should be competitive.

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