Highland of Craigmont
Conference: 1AD2 Whitepine League
Classification: 1A D2
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Highland of Craigmont Team Bio
Head Coach: Brett Arnzen
Record Last Year: 7-13
State Titles: 1978, 1985, 1993, 1995
Written by: Sven Alskog
1AD2 Whitepine League
PRESEASON COACHES POLL
4. Summit Academy
7. Timberline (Weippe)
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kortne Carpenter, Senior, Nezperce
Sydney Boyer, Junior, Nezperce
Caitlyn Cronce, Sophomore, Nezperce
Lauren Morgan, Sophomore, Kendrick
Bea Whitling, Junior, Logos
Maddie Wintz, Senior, Logos
It’s no secret entering the new year that Nezperce is the favorite in the 1AD2 Whitepine League, with league MVP Kortne Carpenter returning for her senior season and a great core group of players back around her.
While the Indians lost leading rebounder Maddie Stapleton, they will hope that junior Hannah Stapleton can fill some of the void on the interior.
Combined with 5’8” inside-out threat Caitlyn Cronce, Nezperce has a quad of players that can make big impacts on a nightly basis.
“The four players mentioned are all athletic, therefore our defense should create many fast break opportunities. Cronce, Carpenter and Boyer can all shoot,” said Nezperce head coach Dave Snodgrass.
The Indians play aggressively and try to jump passing lanes on defense, something that is possible because of the quickness of players all around the floor.
Logos has All-League returners Bea Whitling and Maddie Wintz back to give the Knights a formidable duo of their own.
While the team lost just one senior from a season ago, it was a big loss, as the eight points per game and seven rebounds contributed by Regan Meyer were awfully big.
But with all that is returning, there are plenty of reasons for optimism.
“We have four returning players who got a taste of winning last season and they’re motivated to work hard and improve on last year’s performance. We also have a strong freshmen class, which is a huge benefit to our varsity in practice,” said head coach Brent Belschner. “We intend to play a fast-paced game on both ends of the floor. We have the talent to play this style, but we’ll be attempting this with a six-player rotation. Whether we’re able to successfully pull this off remains to be seen.”
Incoming freshman point guard Kirstin Wambeke looks to enter into the starting lineup, something that will help down the road for Logos with all the valuable experience she will gain early in her high school career.
Beyond Nezperce and Logos, it will be a mad scramble for seeding into the district tournament.
One of the teams that will be involved in that seeding scramble is the Kendrick Tigers.
Kendrick will be without the services of sophomore guard Megan Brocke due to an ACL injury suffered during volleyball, but a huge sophomore class has the future looking bright.
“Jaiden Anderson and Mya Brown will bring good execution to our offense. Lauren Morgan adds outside shooting and Mina Sandino gives strength to the inside,” said Kendrick head coach Ron Ireland.
But with the youth, there will be some growing pains to go through to get where the Tigers want to be.
“We push the ball well and give good defensive pressure. We need to improve our ball awareness on offensive and defensive pressure,” added Ireland.