Wood River High School
Conference: Great Basin (West) Conference
Head Coach: Matt Newhouse
Years as Head Coach: 3rd season
Previous Experience: Coached in Alaska, Washington, and Michigan
Record Last Year: 6-14
Written by: Sven Alskog
Two consecutive seasons below six wins, with just nine combined victories over that span, has left the Wood River girls basketball team hungry to do more this time around.
Third year Head Coach Matt Newhouse brings back an experienced group, with five returning seniors who have all played together for the past three seasons.
As was the case last year, the primary source of success should again be the interior play for the Wolverines.
The interior presence will be led by Rory Cole, a Second Team All-Conference honoree for her performance last season. Cole gives Wood River plenty of put-back opportunities on the offensive end, while shutting down her opponents commonly with tight defense.
For all elements of the team to come together this year, the perimeter play will need to improve.
Just like was the case in the season prior, last year the Wolverines struggled shooting the ball, also turning it over too much, a combination that limited their scoring opportunities throughout the season. Overall, Wood River never eclipsed 45 points, all while being held below 30 on 11 occasions.
As a result, the team fell to a 6-14 mark, something which they hope to improve on this time around.
Defensively, the Wolverines showed promise all season, keeping themselves in games consistently, just not being able to do enough on the offensive side of things to push them over the proverbial hump.
In an effort to boost the success when they have the basketball in their hands, Wood River will emphasize smart passing and shot selection, hoping to limit turnovers and get more easy baskets.
“[We will be a] defensive minded team that demonstrates a lot of patience on the offensive end of the floor,” said Newhouse.
Newcomers Tess Hollister and Molly Whittington will be expected to contribute heavily, namely by putting points on the board.
In a solid conference featuring teams such as Twin Falls and Jerome, Wood River will need to get off to a quick start in league play to regain some confidence which may have been lost the past few seasons.
While Jerome lost many strong players from their surprising team last year, Head Coach Scott Burton looks to be leading them in the right direction again, while Twin Falls has consistently reloaded as of late.
The task in front of Wood River is a large one for a team that is still trying to find its identity on the offensive side of the ball.