Kettle Falls in rebuilding mode

What is likely one of the most inexperienced girl’s basketball teams in the Northeast 2B League (Bi-County) this winter will get the 2011-2012 season underway this week.Kettle Falls High opened the season on Tuesday at the annual Chewelah Jamboree. The Lady Bulldogs will open their regular season on Thursday at Kettle Falls against Selkirk. Game time is 5:45 p.m.KFHS will travel to Chewelah for another non-league date on Friday. Game-time against the Northeast A League member Cougars is 5:30 p.m.The Lady Bulldogs will open Northeast 2B play at home on Dec. 6 against Davenport. Game time is 5:45 p.m.AT A GLANCEReplicating last season’s 15-9 campaign that came within a win over Northwest Christian of making the State 2B tournament field will be a difficult task. Kettle Falls lost six key seniors and the majority of the team’s scoring and rebounding to graduation in the process.KFHS finished third in the Northeast last season behind Reardan and Colfax. Those two clubs (in that order) are expected to battle for league hierarchy again with Northwest Christian.Kettle, in addition to being one of the league’s least experienced teams, is also one of the Northeast’s smallest. Figure a quick-footed KFHS crew to press the action and run at every opportunity.Small and quick“We hope to take advantage of our quickness,” KFHS head coach Tyler Edwards said of his current team. Edwards said a busy summer of off-season basketball helped his mostly inexperienced group immeasurably. “We had a pretty good summer,” Edwards said earlier this summer. “We had good numbers out and we played a lot of games.”After graduating so many key contributing seniors, there are a lot of questions this winter in the Kettle camp. For one, where are the Lady Bulldogs going to get their scoring—and rebounding.“I don’t think we’re going to have those kids that are going to score 20 points a game consistently,” Edwards said. “I think we have kids who can score, but it will look a little different. We do have some kids who can score it a little…and this is a pretty aggressive group. We hope to be able to use that strength.”THE ROSTERSeniors--Jessica West, a returning varsity performer, is a 5-8 post player.Sam Adams, 5-7 post or wing. Last played as freshman.Codi Wilkin, 5-7 post. Played as a sophomore and will give the Lady Bulldogs valuable depth.Monica Hopkins, a 5-5 guard who played last season until dislocating her shoulder.Juniors—Randy Goodnight (5-5) saw considerable varsity action last season and will be one of Kettle’s primary scorers and ball-handlers. Will play the point or two guard. Josie Stanard, a 5-4 point or two guard who also returns from last year’s varsity campaign. A player with very good quickness that will score this winter. According to Edwards, Stanard “has a great left-handed runner.”Serena Pounds. The 5-8 post player is another returning varsity player. Will be counted on to provide rebounding and some scoring inside. Has improved her offensive game in the off-season.Kelsey Eslick, 5-2 guard, is another one of Kettle’s quick guards who will be in this season’s rotation.Sophomores—Kourtney Keenan is a 5-4 guard and one of Kettle’s better athletes. Swung between varsity and junior varsity last winter. Like a lot of this season’s group, played a lot of basketball last summer and improved her game.Emily Owens, 5-7, post player who swung last winter.Freshmen—Karlee Eslick, 5-5 guard who will see time in Kettle’s guard-heavy rotation.OUTLOOKEdwards isn’t conceding anything to the Reardan’s, Colfax’s and NWC’s of the league, but he knows that matching up with those veteran outfits will be a tall order this winter.“We have some kids with good upside,” Edwards said. “We’re just inexperienced and not very big. But I feel that we have a shot at the middle of the league teams…we can be competitive there.“We just need to keep improving and try and play to our strengths.”