WEST VALLEY — The West Valley girls junior varsity basketball team has eight players who are entering their first year of junior varsity basketball, as well as two returning starters. West Valley coach Bryan Hansen said that his group is “determined” to overcome that inexperience.
“We might be young, but we’re a very determined group that works hard and plays to the whistle,” said Hansen. “That’s going to be our motto this year: just playing the whole game and giving us a change.”
Sidney Ploetz and Kelsey Chai are returning starters for the Wildcats, after starting as eighth-graders, last season. Chai will play point guard while Ploetz, a forward, will handle the team’s duties in the paint.
“Both will be leaned upon,” said Hansen. “They’re our only two returners, so we need them to lead, this year. They’re great leaders; they have a lot of energy and they work well together.”
Freshman Alyssa Przywara has never played basketball, but will contribute for the Wildcats, this season. Brenna Green, a freshman, will play in the front court, as well. Hansen is confident in his frontline, with a good amount of size, down low.
“Alyssa is a sold inside player and will get a lot of rebounds for us and clog up the middle,” said Hansen. “I’m really trying to bolster my frontline and take care of boxing out and rebounding. We just have to protect the basket and protect that lane. If teams want to shoot the three against us, we’ll let them.”
Freshman guards Marisah Croakman and Elizabeth Heim will contribute, as well. After finishing last season 8-8, Hansen and the Wildcats will look to improve on that and groom a young roster, throughout the year.
“I just want build this team and make sure we’re all working together. That team unity,” added Hansen.
“If we’re all working together and we’re all on the same page, who knows what we can do? If we can play a full 32 minutes, you never know what’s going to happen. It always gives us a shot.
“Before our first game, we need to continue to work on making our defense better,” the coach continued.
“We’re going to work on finishing, at the basket. It’s been a struggle for us, in our first few scrimmages. We have to polish off our layups and try to keep our opponents out of the lane.”
West Valley will host Portville on Dec. 4.