5A Inland Empire League
Written by: Sven Alskog
PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Lake City
3. Coeur d’Alene
4. Post Falls
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Bridget Rieken, Senior, Lake City
Chloe Teets, Senior, Lake City
Kendyll Kinzer, Senior, Lewiston
Kelly Horning, Senior, Coeur d’Alene
Dylan Lovett, Sophomore, Post Falls
Jenna Gardiner, Senior, Post Falls
It may be a changing of the guard in the 5A IEL this season, as defending league champion Post Falls looks to reload after losing Melody Kempton, Bayley Brennan and both McClimment-Call’s.
With some new faces on the floor in Post Falls, the parity in the league looks like it has a chance to be as high as it has been in recent memory, with Lake City and Lewiston the preseason favorites to sit towards the top of the standings.
The Timberwolves are fresh off a 14-10 season and welcome back All-IEL forward Bridget Rieken and multiple quality guards including Chloe Teets, Klaire Mitchell, Dejah Wilson and Aubrey Avery.
“It’s a very balanced team that will be exciting to watch. Four to five different players could lead the team in scoring,” said Lake City head coach James Anderson.
Anderson’s team should have the ability to make things tough for opponents on each side of the floor.
“We are a very active defensive team with great length,” he added. “We have some great shooters and need to play at a faster pace to create more possessions.”
Lewiston is a team that has the potential to make a state run behind the merits of talented senior Kendyll Kinzer.
The Bengals lost multiple key pieces from the roster from a year ago though including point guard Demi Randall and post player Cameron Cady.
Establishing a new floor general will be one of the top priorities as this season gets underway.
Coeur d’Alene won just six total games and zero in league play last year, but brings back the bulk of the roster and the team hopes that the trials and tribulations of a year ago pay off this season.
“Coeur d’Alene has progressively gotten better over the last couple years and should make things difficult for other teams in the league,” said Post Falls head coach Marc Allert.
Jaden Chavez and Kelly Horning are a couple of key pieces that opposing coaches mentioned to watch for the Vikings this year.
No team lost more talent than Post Falls this offseason, as the Trojans will have an almost entirely new-look when they take the floor this winter.
“This team is a group of girls who are fun to be around, play well together and will are willing to work. It is a very inexperienced team with really only one player with any varsity playing experience. Jenna Gardiner has been our top defender the last couple years, but will need to provide some offensive scoring and leadership this year. I am excited to see how this team can grow and mature throughout the year,” said Allert.
He highlighted sophomore guard Dylan Lovett as a player who is moving up from JV that could make a major impact this season from the guard spot.
There is not much height on the roster this year for Post Falls, however Lovett, Gardiner and senior Bubba Gleaves provide a quality core to start from on the perimeter, with Sandy Faulkner expected to be one of the primary inside threats.
“Since we will be small [one person over 5’10”] we will try to be aggressive in the full court both on offense and defense. Our strength should be in our defense and creating turnovers. We will need to find some consistent scoring treats,” added Allert.
It will be a fresh start for the Trojans, but one that the new group is looking forward to taking head-on against the always tough opponents residing within the 5A IEL.