Coach: Mark Gilmore (fourth season)
Last year: Finished 7-13; was 11th in NWC; did not advance to postseason play
Player to watch: Senior guard Ryley Zapien led the Trojans with 10.9 points per game last season, but Ellesse FitzGerald and Kyrin Baklund also averaged double figures. All three are back and Gilmore said that creates options. “We don’t have to rely on any one person on any given night,” he added.
Newcomer to keep an eye on: Freshman Jolee Sipma is the only real newcomer on what is a relatively veteran Trojans squad this year, and she could turn into a good one in the post. “She’s a good player – a true post – but she has to get out there and get used to the varsity level coming out of middle school basketball,” Gilmore said.
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Key to the season: Meridian must improve its rebounding, Gilmore said. So far, he said the team has been more physical in games and practice, and they’ll need to be to make up for a shorter lineup. “We cannot give teams second and third tries,” Gilmore said. “In games that we lost last year that were close, we allowed too many second and third opportunities.”
Outlook: Meridian returns nine letter winners from a squad that had seven losses by fewer than 10 points. The Trojans also should get back Bryn Magnusson from a knee injury around the first of the year, Gilmore said. “With the maturity level of the girls this year, I really hope we can turn around a lot of those (close losses),” Gilmore said. “The maturity level in practice and games has really shown so far, and it’s something we need to continue.”
at Lynden Christian*
Bothell Cedar Park Christian
Meadowdale (at Napavine)
at Tiger Town Christmas Shootout (at Napavine)
at Mount Baker*