Moscow High School
Conference: 4A Inland Empire League
Head Coach: Robin Barnes
Years as Head Coach: 4th season
Previous Experience: Coached Varsity for eight years at Genesee, two years at Moscow coaching 7th and 9th grades
Record Last Year: 2-19
State Titles: 1992, ‘1993, 1994, ‘1996
Photo By: Brandy Brown - #23 Jada Simpson
Moscow teams spend plenty of time away from home, up and down U.S. 95 to the likes of Sandpoint, Lakeland, Lake City, Post Falls, Priest River, Lewiston, etc.
So while it is true the Bears girls basketball team has nine home games scheduled, they won't be true home games.
That's because Bear Den is under renovation, and won’t be ready for the start of the season.
Moscow coach Robin Barnes said her team this season could be dubbed "road warriors, since we won't have a home gym."
Moscow finished 2-19 last season, losing to Lakeland in the loser-out semifinals of the 4A Region 1 tournament. T
he Bears return seven players, including all-4A Inland Empire League guard Jada Simpson, a junior. Also back are senior guard Joelle Stephens, senior post Danica Davis, junior guards Rachel Bayly and Natalie McDaniel, and junior posts Nona Meyer and Hailey Hill.
Barnes said freshman post Gracey Meyer could also make an impact.
"We want to share the ball, get a balance with perimeter and post shots," said Barnes, in her fourth season in her second stint at Moscow. "We will focus on getting early shots and high percentage shots."
On defense, Barnes said a team strength is the speed and quickness of guards Simpson, Stephens and Bayly on the perimeter. She said her team's post defense is improved; she's hoping improved rebounding, as well as stopping penetration, follows along with that.
Once again, Moscow will battle Lakeland and Sandpoint for the region's lone berth to state, scheduled for Feb. 19-21 at Timberline High in Boise.
Moscow made four straight trips to state from 2010-13, with a best finish of fourth in 2011.
Barnes said the key to her team's success this season is "capitalizing on turnovers, pushing the ball, reducing our turnovers, and buying in to a team concept."
She said if she could change one thing in high school basketball, it would be to include a shot clock.
With 26 years total of coaching experience, Barnes said what keeps her coaching is that she "loves the game, and enjoys seeing student-athletes excel as individuals and as a team."
Moscow is scheduled to open Nov. 18 at Timberlake.