WVC women's basketball team has winning mentality
Thursday, November 22, 2012
WENATCHEE — Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges East Region foes Columbia Basin and Yakima Valley played for the women’s basketball championship last season. The Hawks and Yaks have been powers for many years, and it’s easy for Wenatchee Valley College coach Rachel Bromiley-Goetz to see why that’s been the case.
During the past three years, she’s observed those teams from afar — the Knights, as an East Region squad, face them twice per season — and learned about what it takes to win consistently in the NWAACC.
“The perennially good teams have a system, and they’re very disciplined about it, and they do it well,” she said. “They recruit kids that fit what they’re trying to accomplish.
“We talk about three things when I recruit kids — they have to be coachable, have to be willing to work hard 100 percent of the time, and we talk about that we’re going to push (their) work ethic into a new place. And if they already have a great work ethic and they’re coachable, they’ll buy in. I think that’s No. 1. But it’s no secret, I look for kids with athleticism and basketball knowledge.”
Bromiley-Goetz is entering her fourth year as the Knights coach, and is looking to guide the team into the NWAACC tournament for the first time.
“(We’re) absolutely optimistic,” she said. “We’re more athletic than we’ve been in recent years, which to compete in the East Region is a big piece of it. We have a very mentally tough group. (This year) we’re going to bring something to the team that we haven’t had in the past — experience winning and the want to continue that with a new group.”
Several Knights players won state titles in high school, including freshman guard Lauren Schultz, who was part of a Reardan program that won the 2B state title in each of the past four years, and freshman post Tyler Schreckengost, who was a member of the 2012 1A state champion Okanogan team.
In addition, Bromiley-Goetz was able to recruit three players from Eastmont, which did plenty of winning during the past couple of years. Those players — freshmen Charity Degman, ShaeAnna Jones and Bekah Waterhouse — are excited to continue their basketball careers together.
“We didn’t really know if we were going to play on or not,” Degman said. “We’ve played together since the third grade, so it’s crazy just to think that we’re in college and we’re still playing ball together. It’s a plan that let itself unfold, I guess, but it worked out good.”
Obviously, the three former Wildcats know each other well on and off the court, which will help in several ways as they transition their games to the college level.
“I feel like we’ve been playing with each other for so long that we just know what each other is going to do,” Waterhouse said. “We don’t have to worry about each other, really. I feel that we have telepathy, in a way.”
Bromiley-Goetz was thrilled to get all three of them, although she was careful to point out during the recruiting process that she wanted each of them for their individual talents first and foremost; their collective cohesion was a bonus.
“They each bring such a different piece to the game,” she said. “To have all three was our best-case scenario. Luckily it worked out in our favor. (Their chemistry) bleeds over to (the rest of the team). They read each other really well. That piece makes it easy for their other teammates to read into that as well when there’s a place to have that start from. You can tell they’ve played together. There’s no doubt. When they’re on the same (scrimmage) team, there’s definitely a flow.”
The ex-Wildcats are a part of an eight-player freshman class that includes Schultz , a guard; Schreckengost; and a couple of posts — Lindsay Loe from Hunters and Karara Brandenburg from Palmer, Alaska.
They’ll join five returning sophomores, including guards Kate Patenaude, Felicia Alvarado and Felicia Kolb, and post Kassy Larson, the Knights’ leading scorer from a year ago (11.1 points, 6.9 rebounds per game).
Guard Dani Bray, a Wenatchee graduate, is a sophomore newcomer. Bray played at Biola University in California, and will be a welcome addition to a WVC squad that is looking to become more balanced on offense with more perimeter and mid-range scoring.
“Dani brings a great piece of offense to the team — she adds a scoring threat that we haven’t had in the past,” Bromiley-Goetz said. “(She also brings) a sense of maturity. She’s a huge asset in a lot of different ways, and she’s a great teammate.”
The Knights know that they’ll have to improve throughout the course of the season to compete for one of the East’s four playoff spots, but they firmly believe in their abilities. “I would say CBC and Walla Walla (are the top teams in the East) absolutely, for sure,” Bromiley-Goetz said. “And third and fourth place (could be) anyone. I’ll put WVC right in there at third. That’s the mentality that you have to have. You go into it with playoff expectations.”
“We’re a fast team, and we’re smart,” Degman said. “We have shooters, and we have the inside (game), but I think we really take pride in our defense, and defense will take us where we want to go. It’s just going to be an all-around (effort).”
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