3A Snake River Valley Conference
Written by: Sven Alskog
PRESEASON COACHES POLL
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Madison Jackson, Senior, Parma
Grace Jackson, Sophomore, Parma
Adyson Harris, Junior, Parma
Amaya Carter, Senior, Homedale
Josey Hall, Senior, Homedale
Lilly Richins, Junior, Fruitland
Abbey Shirts, Senior, Weiser
Journey Lewis, Junior, Payette
Two players with the same last name should make things difficult for opponents of the Parma Panthers this season in the 3A SRV.
Senior Madison Jackson and sophomore Grace Jackson were listed on the players to watch list for every coach in the conference, something which should tell you all you need to know about the talent that the duo possesses.
Madison is a Montana State commit to play college basketball and is one of the top scorers in the state, with the ability to put up points from anywhere on the floor.
“The Jackson girls at Parma are very good players,” said Weiser head coach Nick Reed. “They are definitely the team to beat.”
What makes Parma even more of a threat this year is that just about everyone comes back from a team that made a trip to state last year.
“We only lost one starter to graduation, so we bring back most of our scoring,” said Parma head coach Michael Calkins. “We also bring back seven girls who have played two summers and one regular season together; close to 75 games. These players already know and understand their roles and team chemistry couldn’t be any better. I am also looking forward to the young kids who couldn’t crack the lineup last year being able to contribute this year.”
Adyson Harris and Courtney Weber are returning wing players that fit right in to the style of running up and down the floor that the Panthers employ.
“We like to get up the floor and go. We score out of transition well, so our defense is tasked with causing loads of turnovers. For us to be successful we need to create 20-25 turnovers a game or more. The girls also have the green light to shoot threes. Getting 25-30 three point shots up in a game is not uncommon. With our leading 3-point shooter lost to graduation, we will need to be a little more consistent shooting them this year if we want to stretch the defense,” added Calkins.
Homedale is the other conference representative coming off a state appearance last season.
Josey Hall and Amaya Carter are returners from that roster that are expected to lead the way for the Lady Trojans.
“They have some great girls coming back and with a new coach they will be a great team,” said Fruitland head coach Amber Drollinger.
Every coach in the league also mentioned the prior successes of new Homedale head coach Cam Long, who has made previous stops at Nampa and Nampa Christian.
“Homedale brings back a lot of talent and a new coach. Cam Long has had success everywhere he has been. It will be interesting to see what kind of energy and excitement he brings to that program,” said Calkins.
In her second year as the head coach at Fruitland, Drollinger hopes to add some wins to the 11-10 mark from year one.
The Grizzlies lost Carleigh LaCrone and Madi Pedaricini from that team, but return First Team All-SRV talent Lilly Richins at the forward position and Honorable Mention selections Ellie Tesnohlidek, Bella Carbajal and Kelsi Capps.
“We have a versatile team that works well together. Their chemistry and work ethic will make us successful,” said Drollinger. “We were able to play together this summer which allowed us to learn and grow together.”
Good offense for Fruitland starts by causing havoc on the defensive side of the floor.
“Defensively we are quick and aggressive. Offensively [we] move the ball well and have confident girls that look to attack,” added Drollinger.
Senior trio Abbey Shirts, Sara Lundberg and Marissa Moyle lead the way for Weiser this season, with sophomore wing Madelyn Erickson also expected to make a big impact.
“The work ethic and attitude of the players is excellent,” said coach Reed. “After a tough year last season they are hungry to improve.”
He likes the athleticism of this group.
“This year’s team is probably the most athletic group I’ve had in 11 years.”
With the group of players on the floor at Weiser, the Wolverines will be able to push the issue on each end of the floor far more often.
“This year we will play up-tempo and press. The girls are getting better every day at the fundamentals of dribbling, passing and ball handling,” added Reed.
Payette returns four starters from last year and seems to have things going in the right direction.
Journey Lewis and Yixcel Granados each earned Honorable Mention All-SRV accolades a year ago and are joined by four more returning players to give the Pirates some experience.
“I am excited to see how this team will go out and compete. We have six returning players and four of them were starters last year,” said Payette head coach Tory Bratcher. “I think this year’s team is more athletic than last years and we have another year of experience.”
The Pirates are another team that will look to be aggressive on the defensive end.
“The style that I would like to see on both ends of the floor is to put pressure on the other team and take advantage of other team’s mistakes. We need to improve on taking care of the ball and handling the other team’s full court pressure,” added Bratcher.
Parma enters this season as the favorites within the conference, but it should be an interesting battle to see who else emerges from the pack in the SRV.