Graduation takes bite out of state tourney team

If a girl’s basketball team ever reached the Class 3A state tournament exclusively on aggressiveness, heart and true grit, it was last season’s Enumclaw High’s ladies, who battled their way through loser-out affairs to the hoop extravaganza and ended the season with an overall mark of 18-10.

When the Hornet girls finally made it to the promised land they did not see any easy path, as they were pulverized by a hot-shooting Kamiakin High and Lakeside.

But that was last year, and Enumclaw will not be enjoying the services of the eight seniors it lost to graduation. It will not have the inspirational defensive play and aggressive offense of Katya Case, the 3-point bombs by Caitlin Clyde or the savage rebounding of Mileka Grager.

Those same efforts will begin anew and perhaps have to be redoubled this time around, as the South Puget Sound League 3A will get into full swing very soon.

“We are going to have to get after it right away and depend upon this year’s crop of seniors to furnish the talent and leadership,” coach Ted Carlson said. “It is going to be a long road to duplicate what we did last year, and there is an enormous learning curve that takes place. It is to early to tell how we are going to fare this season, but I can tell you this you may never see a league as talented as this one is from top to bottom.”

Even though Carlson probably doesn’t have the embarrassment of riches he had to work last year, it isn’t as if the cupboard is bare.

To start, the Hornets boast a proven backcourt tandem in Mara Koplitz and Jaynae Sayler, if that is indeed the twosome that Carlson opts to go with.

“Everyone will get a chance and make no mistake about it, we are going to go with the girls that give us the best chance to win,” said Carlson, quickly adding that Koplitz had probably earned a starting job in that she was a first team All-SPSL 3A selection in 2007.

While this year’s crew is not blessed with much height, it does have a matched set of 5-foot-10 seniors in Alex Chynoweth and Heather Hitch.

Also on board this year are senior Chloe Ramberg and Jessalyn Clark. Additionally, the bench is deep in versed ballhandling seniors Danica Abramson and Rachell Sims as well as juniors Hayley Kohler and Noelle Bauer.

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