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Southern Sky Conference Girls Basketball

Crater

COACH: J.T. Thomas (second year)

LAST YEAR: 18-5, 11-1 SSC

CURRENT RECORD: 0-3

RETURNING STARTERS

Player Ht. Pos. Yr.

Aundrea Albright 6-2 P Sr.

Alana Harding 6-2 P Sr.

OTHER NOTABLES

Jennifer Noon 5-11 P/W So.

Bonnie Heard 5-10 W Sr.

Carly Deschamps 5-3 G Sr.

Ashlee Sailing 5-6 G Jr.

AT A GLANCE: This is a young team that will have to fill the loss of two key players. Kenna Reiter, a 5-foot-10 guard, graduated and is now playing for NAIA Lewis-Clark State College (Lewiston, Idaho). Brittney Newcomb, a sophomore last season, led the Comets in scoring but has since transferred to South Medford. The two helped Crater capture the league crown and guide the Comets to the second round of the playoffs before losing to Glencoe 38-34. ... This year's team is young, with five sophomores and one freshman also expected to see time. "We've got great kids coming back," Thomas said. "We're a different team. We're a little faster." ... Crater played a 40-game summer schedule. ... Thomas said he is looking for big things from Heard as well as Sailing, who was hurt much of the last two seasons.

Ashland

COACH: Steve Farley (first year)

LAST YEAR: 19-7, 10-2 SSC

CURRENT RECORD: 4-2

RETURNING STARTERS

Player Ht. Pos. Yr.

Brenna Heater 6-3 P Jr.

Kelsey McKinnis 5-8 G Jr.

Allison Gida 5-8 G So.

OTHER NOTABLES

Layla Zare 5-10 F Jr.

Heidi Siebenlist 5-6 G Sr.

Koko Petitt 5-8 G Jr.

Natalie DelCarlo 6-2 P Jr.

AT A GLANCE: Heater, the conference's leading scorer last season, is again the focal point. After earning second-team all-state honors her freshman season, she was limited last year with an ankle injury and is still working back from that. She led the Grizzlies in scoring in four of their first five games. Farley said he expects to see a lot of zones against Heater, forcing other players to step up offensively. Siebenlist and McKinnis are the top two outside threats. ... Farley believes Heater's biggest impact will come on the defensive end. ... Gida, the point guard, was a second-team all-conference performer last year. "We are going to let our point guard go play," Farley said. "She's another kid I think could be a great, great player. We're going to look for her to do a lot of things."

Eagle Point

COACH: Tony Cooper (second year)

LAST YEAR: 0-24, 0-12 SSC

CURRENT RECORD: 2-5

RETURNING STARTERS

Player Ht. Pos. Yr.

Taylor Hagy 5-9 P Sr.

Jenna Schipman 5-7 G Sr.

Erin Hedrick 5-9 W Jr.

OTHER NOTABLES

ChyAnne Jones 5-6 G Jr.

Teneea Baker 5-5 G So.

Cady Landman 5-10 P Jr.

Nicole Leaf 5-9 P Jr.

AT A GLANCE: The Eagles are hoping speed this season will help erase a bad taste from a winless record a year ago. "A lot of teams are going to have trouble matching up with our quickness," Cooper said. ... Hagy is the leader, averaging close to nine points per game last season, and Cooper is hoping for her to be in double figures this season as well as his other two returning starters. ... Eagle Point expects to use the full-court press often with a 12-player rotation bolstered by a crop of players off last season's successful JV squad. "I've got 12 players that I feel comfortable that I could put out there at any time," Cooper said." ... Three sophomores, Baker, Arika Desavedo and Kristen Wyatt, will see ample minutes. Cooper thinks Landman could have a big year.

Klamath union

COACH: Theresa Ross (third year)

LAST YEAR: 12-12, 5-7 SSC

CURRENT RECORD: 1-4

RETURNING STARTERS

Player Ht. Pos. Yr.

Katie Gilbert 5-2 G Sr.

Sarah Kellom 5-9 P Sr.

Jaylin Bliss 5-7 G Sr.

Katey Choukalos 5-2 G Jr.

OTHER NOTABLES

Tiana Cesena 5-7 P Jr.

LeeAndrea Whitcraft 5-9 P So.

AT A GLANCE: Four starters return from a team that finished fourth in the SSC last season. "We don't have a go-to player," Ross said. "We're going to be pretty balanced." Ross is looking for Whitcraft to be a strong player after she returned to the KU district following a one-year absence. ... The Pelicans are eyeing a 10-person rotation to support their style of play, which will be pressure defense and up-tempo offense. ... Ross hopes the return of three starters, now seniors, will key KU this season. "The team is pretty tight. They've been together for quite a while." Gilbert led the Pelicans in scoring through four games at around nine points per game. Choukalos is second on the team, averaging around seven points per game. KU opens the season Jan. 4 at Eagle Point.

Mazama

COACH: Paul Ritter (first year)

LAST YEAR: 6-18, 4-8 SSC

CURRENT RECORD: 3-2

RETURNING STARTERS

Player Ht. Pos. Yr.

Kristina Groves 5-7 G/F Sr.

Melissa Jones 6-0 P Jr.

Jennifer Saltenberger 5-10 W Jr.

OTHER NOTABLES

Lacey Garrett 5-4 G Jr.

Brianna Newman 5-6 G Jr.

Megan Lawrence 6-0 P Sr.

Taylor Hoskins 5-6 P/W So.

Kelsey Caldwell-McPhee 6-0 P/W Fr.

Darian Grigsby 5-6 G So.

Mariah Carther-Miller 5-8 G So.

AT A GLANCE: Garrett scored 20 points in the season opener, but Ritter expects possibly a different leading scorer every night. He said competitiveness, toughness and hustle are the team's strengths. ... The Vikings need to replace leading scorer Quenby Cox but return everyone else. ... Ritter takes over for six-year coach Ross Hall. Ritter is the father of former KU standout Jennifer Ritter, now playing at The Master's College in Southern California. He played and coached in Germany for four years. ... "We are working very hard," Ritter said. "That was our main thing, trying to work harder than everyone else."