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New blood has Comets in familiar form

New blood has Comets in familiar form —

Transfers fuel Crater's drive for title

Amy Denson and Sarah Pool did not grow up playing in the Crater girls basketball program. —

But if the sophomore transfers have anything to say about it, they may wind up as two of the finest players ever to suit up for the Comets. —

Their play already this season certainly is laying the groundwork for a prosperous future at Crater. —

Denson leads Crater in scoring (10.4) and rebound (5.5) average, and is second in steals (2.3). Pool leads the team in assists at 5.2 per game, is tied with junior post Skye Hemphill for third in scoring (8.5) and ranks third in steals (2.1). —

Junior post Jody McLeod ranks second in scoring at 8.8 points per game, while sophomore guard Sarah Yager tops the steals department at 3.4 per game. —

Fans of the Southern Oregon Conference may be taking notice, but they're not alone. —

Typically what happens is I get mail from colleges, just generic stuff, says Crater coach David Heard. But I've started getting a lot more of that now. I think a big reason for that is Amy as well as Sarah Pool. —

Denson was an honorable mention all-conference selection at Klamath Union last season, while Pool earned honorable mention honors at Bend. —

Both stand to take another step this season as they jell with their Crater teammates _ a step made a little easier thanks to the presence of Yager. The trio played on the same AAU basketball team the past two summers, but that doesn't erase all concerns considering —

eight players are consistently called upon to make the Comets move forward. —

I tried to prove myself the first few days of practice but that was it. We're all just out to win, Denson says of her introduction to Crater basketball. It wasn't that difficult (of a transition from KU) because everyone was real nice right away. —

I have the same focuses, she adds. It's just coming at a different school. —

As a 6-foot wing, Denson displays the skills coaches drool over. —

She plays defense, she rebounds, she can score, she passes the ball, shoots well from the perimeter, is big and athletic, Heard says in praising Denson. —

She's definitely our most sought-after player when colleges come to our games. Because of her size and ability to handle the ball and shoot from the perimeter, she's probably our No. — attraction. —

With Pool's ability to run Crater's offense and mix in a bit of razzle-dazzle at the point guard slot, No. 2 may not be far behind. —

Smiling and confident, Pool enjoys her role of making the Comets the best they can be. —

It's fun to come to practice every day, says Pool. It's fun to know you're going to be with the people and coaches you're with. They actually seem to care about you and they enjoy playing basketball and are excited for each new game. —

Pool's overall numbers stand to blossom once her teammates become accustomed to her free-wheeling ways. Just don't judge her by scoring output. —

I don't care if I score, she says. I just care about winning. I like giving (my teammates) the ball. If they're open, why not give it to them? They worked to get open so they deserve the ball. —

That refreshing unselfishness pales in comparison to how well-adjusted both players are in handling the pressure of playing at a program repeatedly in the hunt for the SOC title. —

Even a top-10 ranking for the Comets isn't enough to rattle the sophomore standouts. —

There's no pressure, Pool says of her team's preseason nod for the SOC title. It just sets the standard that you know every day in practice you have to come ready to play and ready to work hard. —

Both say that hard work and dedication to a team-concept should pay off for Crater, be it this season or down the road. —

It's exciting to think about the next couple of years and what we can accomplish if we come together as a team, says Pool. —

For those outside the Crater program, that proposition may prove to be downright scary.