Small Ball-2A Metro Girls Preview

#1.Valley Christian: The defending champs and proven "Monsters of the METRO". If anyone plans on receiving the #1 seed at the conference tournament this year they will have to go through VC. Their programs past speaks for itself while being led by a very good coaching staff (Junior High through Varsity). Being one of only a few METRO teams to benefit from a full and rough summer season, give the VC staff ...

2002-2003 2A METRO Girls Basketball
PreSeason Analysis

#1.Valley Christian: The defending champs and proven "Monsters of the METRO".
If anyone plans on receiving the #1 seed at the conference tournament this
year they will have to go through VC. Their programs past speaks for itself
while being led by a very good coaching staff (Junior High through Varsity).
Being one of only a few METRO teams to benefit from a full and rough summer
season, give the VC staff the time needed to properly prepare upcoming
players and refresh/specialize their "big guns". I look for Valley to
continue to play at high speeds, shoot high percentages, and play their
stingy defense.

Everyone knows: Hanenburg, Erkstand, Robertson, and Visser
Watch for: Melkowski and Rothenberger

#2.Scottsdale Christian: SCA has come along way very fast and are extremely
close. After very nearly splitting in their regular season games with VC, the
Eagles get another year older and another year wiser. Of course Ashley and
Wendy are still there, but Van Weelden is not. Jenna was a huge "secret" part
of their success last year with her size and physical play. This year SCA
leans on what seems to be a roster filled with seniors. Waddas and Fay must
play well to fulfill all of this year's expectation. For SCA the future is

Everyone knows: Woudenburg and Frank
Watch for: Bull and Waddas

#3.Northwest Christian: Northwest always comes out of the blocks strong. This
being Katie and Julee's senior season, I look for them to come out and
personally play their best ball ever. Northwest has typically played well
right up to the last week to week-and-a-half of the regular season before
fading. Northwest seems to have a large amount of under classmen, led by
Underwood, who will be helping to decide their fate both this year and the
years following. Northwest typically likes to control the ball as long as
possible while looking for shots 10 and in. Guard play and player development
will be crucial in the success this year for the Crusaders.

Everyone knows: Smith and Harbeck
Watch for: Underwood, Woolston, and Teberg

#4.Valley Lutheran: VL has gotten noticeably and consistently better each of
the past few seasons. A majority of the seniors this year have played
together and gone through many rough seasons since their freshman year. This
is their year to make a statement to the conference. Strong work ethics,
confidence and team unity along with a "paybacks" theme is what will make
this team go. Not loaded with size or exceptional shooting is made up with
all out hustle and determination to get things done. If turnovers are down,
the wins will be up.

Everyone knows: Bilsten and Kidane
Watch for: Sullivan, Patterson and Kavena

#5.Phoenix Christian: PC after finally making it out of the conference
tournament last year looks like they have made it over the hump. Although
graduating 3 starters from a year ago, PC seems to have a good nucleus of
"young 'ens" and "big guns" to make it back to the state dance. Making it
back this year would almost solidify frequent and regular returns. With PC's
commitment to the weight room and perhaps the longest summer season in the
conference, PC hopes that their 40 games together since last season will
quickly pay dividends. PC"S big questions to success are team unity and

Everyone knows: Vandermate and Richardson
Watch for: Romero and Clark

#6.Phoenix Country Day: Country Day adjusted slowly to the departure of Engle
at the beginning of the season, but played very good ball the second time
through in conference play and on into the conference tournament. Fastenburg,
never surprised by double teams had another successful season, while still
finding time to establish some of their younger "bigs". This year may have
its ups and downs with a new head coach coming in, the Eagles progress of
understanding a new system in the preseason and the establishing of a second
guard, will determine what kind of team the conference will see this year. I
look for PCDS to get up and down the court a bit more than in the past.

Everyone knows: Fastenburg
Watch for: Seipp and Garagiola

#7.Arizona Lutheran: ALA came out of the gates last year rather young for the
most part only to compete fiercely against some strong teams early before
falling in a lot of very close games. However, ALA's trademark style of
fundamentals, physical play and rebounding remained unharmed and built a
strong foundation for upcoming seasons. What use to be Regina DeClay's team
may still be, but with the growth of and consistent play of Sam Loewen, she
may now be the teams' future. ALA has a lot of "bigs" in its program, so
again their growth and development will be key to the programs future.

Everyone knows: DeClay
Watch for: Loewen and H. Miller

#8. Bourgade Catholic: BC after losing one of the conferences greatest team
leaders in Trinity Garawell, will now be leaning on Beth Donnelly. Beth has
been a proven scorer in past years and now will be the center of attention to
most teams defensively. Brandi Johnson could also help out quite a bit and be
a good size body down low. For BC shooting high percentage shots at high
percentages and keeping turnovers to a minimum are essential for a successful

Everyone knows: Donnelly
Watch for: Johnson and Vasquez

#9. Horizon Honors: Horizon was welcomed to 2A METRO basketball in its
inaugural season just last year. Although not competing in many close games,
the upside for Horizon is they did have a load of freshmen and sophomores on
their roster. The downside being they lost their top player in Honorable
Mention Lacy Garcia. This could be another testing and trial year for Horizon
who will be looking to win their schools first 2A game this year.

Watch for: A very much-improved Horizon team



Valley Christian Trojan Summer b-ball update 6/14/02:

Valley has much more physical talent than they had last year. Last year's
senior leadership and 111 3pt's graduating will be tough to replace, but
despite that, this team will be a dominant team in 02/03. The Big man, Tim
Krugue, is getting stronger and more confident. At 6'8", he is one of the
top big man college recruits in the state. Paul Hardiman is very talented at
the point/2 guard spot, with athleticism and scoring ability. He will also
be one the best guard defenders in the state. The key for Paul will be
decision making and focusing on making those around him better. If he does
this, this team is unstoppable and he is a college (D-2 or NAIA) lock at the
point. Brian (Boomer) Roberts is a pure shooter (with great heart) at the 2
guard spot and will make up some of what Valley lost beyond the arch.
In addition to Krugue, Valley has 6'4" Senior Andrew Majesty (possible
starter at the 4), 6'5" Senior Elmon Krupnick, 6'5" Junior David Melhorn (a
sweet touch, tenacious rebounder, and the best work ethic on the team), 6'2"
Senior Michael Orr (long arms and horrible hair), 6'2" Senior Matt Hill
(strong, quick and athletic), 6'2" Senior transfer from Chicago (don't know
his name, but he's very athletic and can really shoot the 3. he could start
at the 3 spot). In addition to Hardiman and Boomer, 6'0" Junior Brian Botma
can play the point or the 2 spot and 5'8" Troy Thelan is a solid point
guard. Sr. Eric Frayle at 6'0" will round out the squad with great heart
and may be the best defender (and most all around athlete) on the squad.
Valley has had wins against Corona Del Sol, Desert Vista and Trevor Brown
this summer and truly can compete with anyone at any level. This team, this
year, will dominant most 2A opponents and will beat most of the larger
schools they play. If SunnySlope weren't in the Greenway Christmas
tournament, an undefeated season would be a realistic goal (last year 33-1,
losing to a 5A playoff team, Mountain Ridge in the same tournament by 4).
The question is not whether or not the Trojans will be dominant at the 2A
level, they will. However, with the Metro being stronger than it's been in
years, the question is whether this team will be unselfish and play like
last years TEAM played in the big games at the regional tournament and in
the state playoffs, and will they be able to consistently knock down the
outside shot in big games when the defense focuses on and slows down the big
man? Other than that, there are no questions; this is the strongest small
ball program in the state right now. With five incoming freshman over 6'0",
the rich just keep getting richer!


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