The Coupeville High School girls basketball team returns three post players with extensive experience, but the question is, Who will get them the ball?
If the Wolves want to improve on last season's 2-17 record, they will need to find replacements for last year's ball handers who graduated, including three-year starting point guard Cassidi Rosenkrance.
Bessie Walstad, a 5-9 senior, Jai'Lysa Hoskins, a 5-8 senior, and Hailey Hammer, a 5-8 sophomore, logged a majority of the post minutes in 2011-12 and should dominate the middle for the Wolves again this winter.
First-year coach David King will look to four other returning letter winners to pick up the slack at guard and wing: Haley Marx, a 5-4 senior, Lauren Escalle, a 5-6 senior, Amanda Fabrizi, a 5-5 junior, and Breeanna Messner, a 5-5 junior.
Newcomers who should contribute, according to King, are Madeline Strasburg, a 5-5 sophomore wing, and Makana Stone, a 5-10 post/wing.
The loss of the team's ball handlers isn't King's only concern: "We lost a big portion of our leadership and scoring to graduation. We will need to come together, support one another and get game experience. On the offensive end we need to stay patient and let the play develop."
King said the team's strength is "our willingness to work hard every day to improve as a team and to play hard from the tip off until the final buzzer." He added, "Overall we have good team speed that will improve our defense and should get us into our transition game."
King said his goals are for the team to consistently improve, compete and "peak right before districts and go to state."
Archbishop Murphy and King's will be the class of the Cascade Conference, King said, and South Whidbey and Cedarcrest should be "tough."
What also is tough is Coupeville's schedule which starts with five away games.
The Wolves begin the year at 7 p.m. today (Thursday, Nov. 29) at Cedar Park Christian. The first home contest is at 5:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, with South Whidbey.