In the Wenatchee Valley College women’s basketball team’s season-opening 71-62 loss to Peninsula on Nov. 23, Kassy Larson had 25 points and Dani Bray added 15, but no other Knights player tallied more than eight.
WVC’s offensive effort was much more balanced in its 69-57 win over Everett on Sunday at Smith Gymnasium. Larson once again led the Knights with 18 points, but six other players — Felicia Alvarado, Kate Patenaude, Bekah Waterhouse, Felicia Kolb, Lindsay Loe and Bray — scored between seven and nine points.
Coach Rachel Bromiley-Goetz would of course like to see reliable secondary scoring options emerge as consistent threats, but she has no problems with her team’s early offensive diversity.
“We have the mentality that it could be anyone’s night to step up if you’re the one that gets open or gets to the (free-throw) line,” she said. “Everybody has to be ready for that role, because you can’t ride one person the whole season. Obviously as people get in tune with their roles (as the season goes on), they’ll become more comfortable. It was nice to have other kids step up (Sunday).”
Early on, it appears as if rebounding could be one of the Knights’ strengths; they posted a decisive 45-22 edge on the boards against the Trojans.
Of course, the 6-foot-1 Larson, the team’s second-leading rebounder a year ago, is going to haul in her share of caroms, but the team has several other posts — including the 6-1 Loe, who grabbed nine boards Sunday — and wing players that are capable of rebounding well.
“We know how important (rebounding) is,” Bromiley-Goetz said. “It will be a focus for us throughout the year. We had match-ups (Sunday) that provided us with a great chance of showing what we’re capable of in that department. There shouldn’t be any reason that we should have (rebounding totals) that are below our expectations. We have height on the inside, and perimeter kids that can rebound, and I attribute that to getting pressure on the ball. If (the other team) can’t get clean shots, that makes the rebounding effort easier on the back side.”
WVC men’s basketball coach Coby Weidenbach learned several things about his team during its two games at the Skagit Valley Turkey Tourney. The Knights lost to Green River 81-53 on Friday and Portland 83-68 on Saturday.
“We identified three things (Monday) at practice — we have to be able to take care of the ball, shoot a good percentage with better shot selection and keep teams away from the basket,” he said. “Those are things that we’re focusing on that are very fixable. For some of our freshmen, (last weekend’s games) were an eye-opener, and the sophomores need to learn to take the leadership role and compose our guys when things are going rough. We understand that we don’t want to peak right now, and we want to continue to work hard and peak at the end of the season.”
The main culprit behind the Knights’ struggles was decision-making. WVC turned the ball over too many times to be competitive (15 in each contest), and when it didn’t give the ball away, it didn’t put up nearly the amount of quality shot attempts that Weidenbach would’ve liked.
As a result, the Knights shot 27 percent against the Gators and 37 percent against the Panthers.
“We want to pick up the pace,” Weidenbach said, “and the players might have misinterpreted that and turned the ball over or took a bad shot as a result. We want to play fast and attack the defense, but we have to be smart and make the right reads.”
Freshman Jordan Perry led the Knights in scoring in both contests, tallying a combined 30 points.