Orofino High School
Conference: 2A Central Idaho League
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Orofino High School Team Bio
Head Coach: Garett Bretz
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Record Last Year: 10-12
State Titles: None
McKenzie Anderson, 12, G
Hayley Bretz, 11, G
Nicole Sparano, 11, G
Key Players lost from last year:
Photo By: Michella Davenport - #2 Nicole Sparano
2A Central Idaho Conference
Written by: Sven Alskog
PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. St. Maries
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Madison Cordell, Junior, St. Maries
Kaylee Auer, Senior, St. Maries
Paige Sines, Senior, St. Maries
McKenzie Anderson, Senior, Orofino
Hayley Bretz, Junior, Orofino
Nicole Sparano, Junior, Orofino
Paige Lindsley, Junior, Grangeville
JaKaili Norman, Sophomore, Grangeville
Kate Lutz, Senior, Grangeville
In a conference where just one team makes the state tournament, the battle for the top spot should be a fun one to watch as St. Maries looks to replace the dominant post presence of Kelsey Auer, who is now playing for North Idaho College.
Fortunately for the Lumberjacks, they have the benefit of returning a fair amount of what was a quality supporting cast last season, including guard Paige Sines and scoring threat Madison Cordell.
The group will have to step up in a big way to equal the successes of last season, however with another Auer in place to help in the post in 6’1” Kaylee Auer, St. Maries should be able to again tower over many of its opponents.
One of the things that makes being in the three team Central Idaho Conference unique is that the bulk of the schedule comes against 4A, 3A and some 1A competition from around northern Idaho, making for tough matchups throughout the non-conference slate.
“Our schedule is tough and that will prepare us for the postseason,” said Grangeville head coach Michelle Barger.
The Lady Bulldogs are led by All-Conference returner Paige Lindsley from the guard line, a junior who has multiple good weapons around her.
Post players Mikayla Ruzicka and JaKaili Norman will be the go-to inside options, while Kate Lutz is a senior guard who helps provide leadership for Grangeville.
Barger is excited about the group she has in place.
“All of our girls play hard and hustle,” she said.
But she mentioned that in order to take the next step, Grangeville will need to limit teams to one shot and have less turnovers on the offensive end.
Orofino is the youngest of the teams in the conference, but new head coach Garrett Bretz is excited to see the youth tested at the varsity level.
“We are working to improve each and every day. We have only one senior on the team, and only three players with any real varsity time. Improving fundamentals and game concepts will be our goal,” said Bretz.
The Maniacs will employ pressure on each side of the ball, led by the guard trio of McKenzie Anderson, Haylee Bretz and Nicole Sparano.
“We will be aggressive on both ends of the floor. The team chemistry is solid and hopefully as we get better with our fundamentals we can capitalize on that,” added Bretz.
After a year in which all three teams in the conference won at least ten games, it will be another battle to the finish in the Central Idaho Conference to determine the one spot into the state tournament, with St. Maries and Grangeville the preseason favorites to duke it out come February in the district tournament.