Summit hungry for more after a breakout season

By Grant Lucas The Bulletin Published Dec 3, 2013 at 12:01AM

Prep girls basketball at a glance

A look at the Central Oregon teams playing in Class 5A for the upcoming season:

Bend

Head coach: Todd Ervin (fifth season)

2012-13 record: 19-7 overall, 8-1 IMC (first); lost in consolation round of Class 5A state tournament

Outlook: Delaney Crook, a first-team all-IMC selection last season, and Jessica McClay, an honorable mention wing player, lead six Lava Bear seniors into the 2013-14 campaign. That group, Ervin says, will be relied upon for leadership as Bend installs a new style of play. After graduating all-league seniors 6-footers Mekayla Isaak and Molly Maloney, the lone players standing 6 feet or taller, the Bears will lack height this season, meaning Bend will be focusing more on the perimeter rather than in the paint. But with Crook and McClay at the forefront of a strong senior class, the Lava Bears have their eyes set on a third straight IMC title and a fourth trip to the state tournament in the past five years. “They’re a real cohesive group with great work ethic and chemistry,” Ervin says. “They’re trying to pick up things that we haven’t really had to do the last couple years, so that’ll be key. We just try to come and play every night and be competitive, try to make a really good run through our conference.”

Mountain View

Head coach: Steve Riper (fifth season)

2012-13 record: 16-9 overall, 5-4 IMC (third); lost in Class 5A play-in round

Outlook: The Cougars graduated nine seniors from last year’s squad, but that does not lower Riper’s expectations for the 2013-14 season. Emma Platner, a first-team all-IMC guard, returns for her senior year as Mountain View looks to snap a two-year streak of losing the play-in round. Senior Natalie Warren and junior Sarah Bailey join Platner as the only three returners for the Cougars, but the tightknit group of younger players gives Mountain View a strong dose of chemistry heading into preseason play. Riper concedes that the first month of games could deal the Cougars some “bumps and bruises,” but by January, when IMC play kicks off, Riper expects his young squad to compete in the IMC. “I think that we’ll surprise some people,” Riper says. “I’m hoping that these kids will come around. … That’s our goal, to get to the playoffs and try to get to (Matthew Knight Arena — the final site of the 5A state tournament). Those goals are kind of the same every year. We just have to play the games and see where we fall out.”

Redmond

Head coach: Angela Capps (second season)

2012-13 record: 10-15 overall, 0-9 IMC (fourth); lost in Class 5A play-in round

Outlook: The Panthers are young, Capps emphasizes. Seniors Chantel Dannis, Shelby Bergum and Ciara Lennie are the lone returners for Redmond, and their experience and leadership will be key to develop the inexperienced players jumping to the varsity level for the first time. According to Capps, focus will be on everyday improvement as well as maturing quickly to adjust to the speed and physicality of varsity play. The Panthers have quickness, Capps notes, leading the second-year coach to believe that Redmond could be surprising this season as the Panthers aim for a berth in the play-in round. “They’re really starting to come together in practice,” Capps says. “They’re learning to trust each other as far as who’s doing what on the court, because they don’t know each other. … Just to kind of mesh and jell as a group is big. We’ve seen some strides with that this week.”

Summit

Head coach: Ryan Cruz (sixth season)

2012-13 record: 18-8 overall, 5-4 IMC (second); lost in first round of Class 5A state playoffs

Outlook: After posting the second-most wins in program history last season, the Storm are back for more behind first-team all-IMC guards Raja Char, a senior, and sophomore Sarah Heinly. Cruz expects his group to be more disciplined on the offensive end, using more clock to find better shooting opportunities to limit the amount of possessions opponents have during games. According to Cruz, the key to success will be getting stops defensively and closing out games in the fourth quarter. That, he says, will ultimately decide if the Storm reach the state playoffs for a second straight year.

Rob Kerr / The Bulletin Summit sophomore Sarah Heinly, middle, is flanked by seniors Raja Char, left, and Emily Hasenoehrl in a quest for post season success.