Youth will have been served if Eatonville High’s girls basketball team matches or improves on its lofty showing in the Nisqually League of a year ago.
The Cruisers, who opened their 2013-14 campaign with a 48-32 loss to Yelm last Wednesday in a non-league game, are described by coach Davina Serdahl as young and inexperienced compared to last season’s squad. That one posted a 17-4 record, finished second in the Nisqually and advanced to the post-season playoffs.
Success this season, according to Serdahl, will depend in large part on the response of newcomers to varsity competition and the experience of a handful of returning players. The latter include senior Kaelyn Voss, an All-Nisqually guard in 2012-13.
Against Yelm, Eatonville was outscored 15-3 in the second quarter and fell behind 29-17 by halftime, a margin that proved insurmountable.
Serdahl, who’s in her ninth season as the Cruisers’ coach, talked to The Dispatch about the outlook for this season:
What are your expectations for this year’s team?
Serdahl: “We will be a young team on paper. Only two returning starters. Some individuals will have to step up from playing no varsity ball last year.
“We have a strong point guard and first-team all-league player in senior Kaelyn Voss. Also returning are forward Sam Cox and Lauren Pate. Our bench is young but is eager to learn, dedicated and will strive to improve throughout the season.”
Who are some of your key team members?
Serdahl: Voss is a “very smart, unselfish player. She’s a team leader, sees the floor so well and will deliver passes on a dime. She’s a big scoring threat on offense.
“Heidi Brankline (junior) has improved her game immensely. I think she’ll be the big surprise in the league. She’s capable of big numbers, both offensively and defensively.
“Sam Cox (senior) is a strong post player but skilled enough to play the wing.
“Lauren Pate (senior) is an all-around strong player, very smooth and a talented offensive threat. Good defense with amazing hands that can agitate offensive players.
“Emily Boettcher (junior) will play big minutes this year in the middle. She has really improved her game over the summer. I’m expecting big things from her, as well.
“All of them are returning from last year.”
Who are the new players joining the team?
Serdahl: “Natasha Henley (freshman), TraciAnn Godwin (senior) and sophomores Mykayla Schoepf, Brailee Vandenboom, Madi Triggs and Taylor Wood.”