Bravettes anxious to try new style
If you can just get past their lack of size, you might start to see it.
It's the same in-your-face, fast-paced defense as before, but this year it's combined with an even more aggressive, run-all-the-time and let-it-fly offense.
Welcome to the new era of girls basketball at Bonner Springs High School.
It's an era where the players are smaller, but the expectations are just as great.
"I've had a ton of people come up to me and tell me it's going to be a rough year," BSHS coach Garold Baker said. "But I disagree. I think it's going to be a really fun year no matter what the win-loss record is."
That's not to say Baker doesn't expect his squad to be any good. As always, he expects the Bravettes to win every game they play. But Baker is replacing four players who had started the past two seasons, and he said it helps to be realistic.
Baker's cupboard is not bare, however, as he returns last year's leading scorer in senior guard Nyse Pinks. Pinks became an offensive force last season, scoring in double figures most of the time including a school record 40-point outing against Mill Valley.
Baker expects Pinks to be as good if not better on offense, but said he's also looking for her to step up her defense.
"We will rely on Nyse a great deal," Baker said. "But it's unfair to say that everything we do offensively will go through her. Every team we play will look to shut her down and hopefully she'll be able to step up and create shots for others."
With bombers Shayla Davis and Chase Crouch returning as the other major contributors from last season's league championship team, Baker said he expects the ball to go up a lot this year.
"It's obvious we won't be able to go inside a lot," Baker said of his squad whose tallest player is 5-foot-9-inch freshman Taryn Lane. "And that means we're going to shoot more three pointers. If I have it my way we'll shoot more threes than any team in the state."
Crouch will likely inherit the point guard duties, owned for the past four years by Morgan McConico. Baker said he knows Crouch is up to the task and he will challenge her to play defense the way McConico did.
Davis, who started most of the time last season, will likely be much more involved on offense and will be counted on for rebounds and defensive stops.
While jacking it up from downtown will be a major goal, Baker's other goals are also simple in theory.
"Some of our goals are lofty and some are very realistic," Baker said. "You have to be realistic, especially when you lost four seniors who had started since they were freshmen. But I really think this team can achieve all of its goals."
And that has Baker believing that this season can be as successful as past seasons.
The Bravettes will open the season Friday, Dec. 5, with a huge test right off the bat at Gardner-Edgerton.