2011-12 Record: 4-21
Conference Record: 0-8
Head Coach: Kristi Smith
Years at Colman-Egan: 5
Assistant Coach: Wayne Smith, 3rd year
The Colman-Egan girl’s basketball team is preparing for a long run in the post season behind plenty of experience and talent.
The Hawks finished last year in dramatic fashion, losing an overtime thriller to Howard in the first round of the district tournament. DVC All-Conference 2nd team representative, Carli Johnson has since graduated but the Hawks will still be led by four girls with plenty of starting experience.
All four of those Hawk players have at least two years of starting experience under their belt. Led by three-year starter Paityn Groos, the Hawks are one of the most experienced teams in the Dakota Valley Conference.
Experience does not always translate into wins however, but the Hawks are optimistic about their chances.
“Although our record did not show it, I felt we improved a lot through the year and were a tough opponent during the season,” said fifth year head coach Kristi Smith.
Smith says the team has been working really hard in the gym in the off-season and their work ethic is second to none.
Groos was CE’s top rebound getter from a year ago, averaging 8.5 rebounds per game (rpg). Her down low presence led to an eight points per game average.
Smith believes that Groos and Mandy Entringer are the two team leaders. Entringer has been starting for the Hawks for two years and is considered one of the best all around players in the program. Her five point a game average is the lowest of the returning starters but her presence on the court is second to none.
Two juniors fill the other returning starter spots. Tori Nelson, CE’s top scorer from a year with 10 ppg, is expected to be the team’s go-to scorer and is what Smith calls “a playmaker.” Defensively, she is stout. She averaged nearly three steals a game for the Hawks in 2011.
Hailey Harms will resume her duties at the point guard position. The two year starter is extremely quick on both ends of the court, which makes guarding her very difficult.
The Hawks will need to fill the fifth spot left by the aforementioned Johnson but there are several girls capable of doing so.
Five-foot-seven eight grader, Burgin Groos saw key minutes last year as a seventh grader and her ability to handle the ball and play down low should make her a go-to player for the Hawks in the years to come.
Baylee Groos is one of Colman-Egan’s best defenders. Whether she starts or comes off the bench, she is able to guard the opposing team’s best player and shut her down.
Sophomore, Rachel Harms will spell her sister in the backcourt. She also has impressive quickness on both ends of the court.
A pair of freshman, Kyria Westover and Brooke Heinricy should get some good experience this year. Westover has a very fluid shot and can hit shots from anywhere. Heinricy will make a big impact down low and has showed she has some strong post moves for a youngster.
Although they are deep in talent, they are not deep in numbers. “We are not very deep, so it is imperative that we stay healthy and out of foul trouble,” said Coach Smith.
If the team can do that and stay consistent with high percentage shots, they should be able to see some improved success over the 2011 season.
Only time will tell how the 2012 season pans out but the journey gets underway tomorrow night as the Hawks take on Elkton-Lake Benton at home.