Kentridge charges up for strong season

Fusing the Chargers: Kentridge’s Jazmin Caliman hits the glass against Auburn Riverside last week during a South Puget Sound League North Division game. - Rachel Ciampi/Reporter
Fusing the Chargers: Kentridge’s Jazmin Caliman hits the glass against Auburn Riverside last week during a South Puget Sound League North Division game.
— image credit: Rachel Ciampi/Reporter

The Kentridge Chargers girls basketball team is preparing to dominate this season with a strong and experienced team that has played together for several years.

Coach Bob Sandall is looking forward to fielding a winning team in the difficult South Puget Sound League North 4A.

"This is as experienced a team as I've ever had," Sandall said.

The core group of players have been together for three years now, something Sandall says is a first in his 10 years of coaching.

Sandall says he's been training his team to be multi-talented, emphasizing speed in both offense and defense.

Sandall expects Jazmin Caliman to contribute heavily to the defense. The junior guard, he says, has a "good head" for the game beyond her athletic talents, and he expects she'll be able to quickly jump in with other players.

Of the returning players, Sandall plans to make use of point guard Courtnae Williams and Alecia Dugan. Williams' speed allows her to quickly take the ball to the basket. Dugan complements her as a shooting guard who can quickly move around a defense to find good shots.

"That's probably one thing that she's improved on the most from her sophomore year to her junior year – it is her ability to create her own shots," Sandall said of Dugan.

His other players provide a solid defensive game to back these two, although Sandall says that they need to work on transitioning into defense. He says this is what contributed to the team's recent loss against Mount Rainier.

The experienced team allowed Sandall to focus less on his basic plays and more on finesse and perfecting technique, and he expects that to pay off. He knows that the refinement will be crucial when his girls go up against teams that are as fast or faster than Kentridge.

"We can get out and run on a lot of teams, but when we get against those teams that are as fast as you are, who can stop you, who can make you set up your offense, you've gotta execute," he said.

Sandall says his players know the path ahead of them and that it won't be easy, but he expects they're prepared for it.

After a sound victory over Thomas Jefferson, Kentridge lost to Mount Rainier by nine points then beat Kentwood by 19. They Chargers (2-2) dropped a 50-47 decision to Auburn-Riverside last Friday night.

Chargers at a glance

• 2012-2013 Season: (9-7, 14-12)

• Returning: Courtnae Williams, 5-foot-8 senior; Michelle Keowla, 5-9, Sr.; Megan Thorsland, 5-8 Sr.; Anna Dugan, 5-8, Sr.; Terri Emmerson-Roe, 5-11, Sr.; Alecia Dugan, 5-8 junior; Kiki Gilbert, 5-8, Jr.; Bobbi Westendorf, 5-10, Jr.

• Newcomers: Natalie Clifton, 5-9 Jr.; Lauren Stearns, 5-6, Jr.; Jazmin Caliman, 5-6, Jr.; Ellie Stannard, 5-4, Jr.

• Strengths: Experience and confidence from that experience.

• Weaknesses: Cohesion and coordination

• Overall: A competitive and experienced team that tasted success last season and is hungry for more.

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