Prep Girls Basketball: Douglas, South Umpqua set for Far West openers
Douglas girls basketball coach Jason Dickover believes it will be a race for second place in the Far West League this season.
Marshfield, which won the Far West last season and finished fifth in the OSAA Class 4A tournament, is a heavy favorite. The Pirates are currently No. 1 in the 4A power rankings.
Marshfield is led by 5-foot-8 junior guard Tess Garrett, who was the co-MVP in the Far West and made second-team all-state. Other returning all-league players for the Bucs include 5-11 junior Alex Locati (first team) and 6-0 junior Hailey Browning (second team).
“Marshfield is very deep and very talented, and well-coached,” said Dickover, whose club finished one game behind the Pirates last year in league. “They return every player and have some good additions to their team. The rest of us are looking up at them.
“I think it’ll be a great race for second. It’s going to be a real dogfight.”
League play opens Friday with Marshfield (12-2) at Siuslaw (3-11), Douglas (7-6) at Brookings (6-8) and North Bend (4-9) at South Umpqua (6-7).
North Bend, which was third last year in the FWL, returns two all-league players in juniors Haley Snelgrove (first team) and Haley Edwards (second team). Brookings is led by senior Abby Farmer, a first-team all-league pick.
The Trojans showed some good moments and growing pains in nonleague games. They lost four straight early in the season, but enter league on a four-game winning streak.
Douglas lost high-scoring post Darian Mitchell, the co-MVP in the FWL and a first-team all-state selection, to graduation.
“It’s been a roller coaster ride,” admitted Dickover. “Overall, we’re a better defensive team but we’re playing a different style. We went total man (defense) last year. This year we’re using our height to our advantage and playing zone and it’s worked out so far.”
The Trojans are averaging 39.2 points and allowing 34.2 points a game.
Senior guard Lainey Rincon, a first-team all-FWL selection, leads the returnees for Douglas. Rincon is averaging just over 10 points a game this season.
She’s joined in the starting lineup by senior Calyissa Anderson, junior Kaylie Hall, and freshmen Milaneta Polamalu and Amy Dickover. Senior Colleen Jackson has been cleared to play after being sidelined with an ankle injury.
“Colleen is a shooter who can stretch the defense out,” coach Dickover said.
South Umpqua hopes to move up in the league standings after tying Siuslaw for fifth last year at 1-9.
Junior Tayak Kelley (honorable mention all-league) and sophomore Shalyn Gray (honorable mention) are among the returnees for the Lancers. Freshman guard Jadyn Vermillion, the daughter of S.U. coach Keri Vermillion, is among the top newcomers in the league.
S.U. will also count on seniors Megan Kinney and Daisy Brown, and juniors Aneykah McCall and Aaliyah Rudy.
South Umpqua averages 36.2 points and gives up 42.8 a game.
The Lancers and Trojans square off Tuesday in Winston. S.U. won the nonleague game between the two teams earlier this year at Douglas, prevailing 35-27.