MOSES LAKE — The Moses Lake girls basketball program looks to compete near the top of the league this season, with a lot of talent returning from last season.
Chiefs head coach Matt Strophy said the team is coming in with seven of the ten varsity players having had significant experience last season.
“We’re really comfortable right now with the ten that we have, and because of the experience we have returning, we’ve been able to hit the ground running more than we have in the past,” Strophy said.
Thanks to the experience coming in, Strophy said they haven’t had to use as much time working on simple things early on and have been able to focus on more individual skill work than in the past.
“It’s been really beneficial that they’ve gotten this experience this early that maybe our offense can be a little more seasoned even come Game One,” Strophy said.
The Moses Lake coach said the team is working on instilling a dribble-drive offense this season that, based on personnel, was something the coaches wanted to look into. The new system allows for the freedom for the players to simply read the defense and go, Strophy said.
“We’ve got ten players, the expectation is you all take what the defense gives you,” Strophy said. “If they give you a three, I don’t care if you’re six foot and left-handed, you shoot the three.”
Returning point guard Madisyn Clark looks to be a leader for the Chiefs on offense, coming off an all-league season last year. “I think she’d probably be that primary offense person,” Strophy said. “But everyone else knows that too. They’re probably gonna put their best defender on her and other people will have to step up.”
Anna Olsen is a player Strophy said has a similar combination of skills as Clark that will contribute as well this year. Camille Carpenter and Meagan Karstetter are two other players that the Moses Lake coach said can be problems for other teams with athleticism and size.
The Chiefs will face a tough non-conference slate this season, with four of the eight non-conference opponents ranked in preseason polls. Two other teams, Issaquah and Central Valley, are teams Strophy expects to be right in the mix up top as well.
In the Columbia Basin Big Nine, Strophy said he feels the Chiefs should be the team to beat this season. Defending champion Sunnyside and West Valley are two programs the Moses Lake coach said he expects to be in contention near the top of the league as well.
“I believe we are the team to beat and with two teams that go to the state tournament, I expect to be one of them and I’ll be incredibly disappointed if we’re not,” Strophy said. “And I believe we’re the team that can cut down our own nets as we prepare for the regional and state tournament.”
The Chiefs will kick off their season next Tuesday when they face Mt. Spokane.