Kamiak to take advantage of experience, height | Girls basketball
Last updated 7/17/2019 at Noon
Look for an older and more experienced Kamiak girls basketball team when the 2019-20 season rolls around.
The Knights, whose season ended in a first-round loss in the district tournament, graduated only two seniors.
The core of the squad, six juniors along with two other juniors who played junior varsity, are spending the offseason improving their individual games and coming together as a group. Kamiak is scheduled to wrap up its formal offseason activities with a team camp next week.
“We’re definitely an older team,” Knights coach Brian Norman said. “We’re getting incrementally better. We’re slowly taking steps.”
Norman said that Kamiak won about half of its games this spring and summer. The Knights finished first in the lower varsity division at the Mount Vernon tournament, which was split into two varsity divisions.
“That was a great effort by the girls,” Norman said. “It was a good confidence boost for us. We had some close wins.”
The Kamiak coach expects the Knights to continue to be a team that spreads the ball around, with no single player dominating on offense.
“We don’t have any one person we go to,” Norman said. “We just have to play good team basketball, share the ball, and take good shots.”
Senior Jordyn Porea, however, often was a focal point on the offensive end, and Norman said her game continues to improve.
“Jordyn has the best ability to score,” Norman said. “She played well. We saw good things defensively and offensively. She brings a lot of energy.”
Senior Margaux Manalo is back at point guard. Norman said he is hoping to find a way to free her up and have her shoot the ball more.
Manalo will be backed up by senior Abigail Moreton.
Senior Brooke Erlandsen showed she can be a force on offense with what Norman described as a breakout game in which she scored 20 points.
“It’s good to see her be a little more offensive-minded,” Norman said.
Norman is hoping to see more of those types of performances from Erlandsen.
“She can hit inside and outside,” Norman said. “If she’s guarded by girls about her size, she had a quickness advantage.”
Erlandsen is at her best when she’s being aggressive to the basket and taking open shots.
“She’s a pretty good scorer when she gets in a groove,” Norman said.
Senior Abby Kizziar also put up good offensive numbers throughout the spring and summer.
The Knights will come into the season with the most height they’ve had in recent years, with Erlandsen (5-foot-10), senior Sloan Loudenback (5-10), junior Aysja Archer-Settles (5-10) and junior Kendall Carroll (5-10).
Archer-Settles and Carroll are going to be counted on to crash the boards and be tenacious defenders.
“They bring good toughness,” Norman said. “Both rebound the ball.”
Loudenback also is an excellent rebounder, and is just a strong presence in the middle, he added. “We’ll have good depth on the front line with our senior and juniors.”
The Knights worked on their press defense, and Norman was pleased with the results. The defense ended up helping jump start the Kamiak offense.
“For us, it’s an energy thing,” Norman said. “Sometimes we come out and, especially on offense, we struggle to score.”
Pressing the opponent helps to change the overall pace of the game and enables the Knights to get some better looks at the hoop, Norman said.
“In several games this summer, it really did help us out,” Norman said. “It changed the energy level.”