WEST VALLEY PREPS

West Valley Preps' Glendale/Peoria girls basketball preview

Posted 11/29/22

The girls basketball season started late last month. The Glendale Independent and Peoria Independent asked the local coaches for their outlook on the season.

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WEST VALLEY PREPS

West Valley Preps' Glendale/Peoria girls basketball preview

Posted

The girls basketball season started a week ago. The Glendale Independent and Peoria Independent asked the local coaches for their outlook on the season.

CACTUS COBRAS

4A West Valley Region
2021-22 Record: 1-19 overall, 0-10 region
Coach: Greg Peters (first season as Cactus girls head coach)
Top Returnees: PG Jacqueline Carpenter, Sr. 5-4, (3.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2. spg), SF Alyna Delarosa, Sr. 5-6 (3.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg)

How many years have you coached basketball? Going into my 8th season.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We are rebuilding and from one win in two seasons prior to my taking the reins.  
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? Composure and patience all by giving all their effort.   
Who are your team leaders? Issabella Boccia, Jacqueline Carpenter and Payten Cherry
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Charley Enos (freshman), Sapphire Solano (sophomore) Payten Cherry (senior) and Delaney Flanagan (junior).
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season, or achieve the goals the team has set? We are in the midst of a culture change since summer are rebuilding and working hard to improve.         

CENTENNIAL COYOTES

5A Northwest Region
2021-22 Record: 10-17 overall, 5-5 region
Coach: Brady Rath (third year as Centennial head coach)
Top Returnees: G/F Akasha Prpich, Jr. (9,8 ppg, 7.7 rpg), G Mya Speer, Sr., 5-5 (4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.9 spg)
How many years have you coached basketball? This is my third year at Centennial, my seventh season overall
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our best attribute is that we play as a team. Our team is very much a tight team. They love playing with each other and they love cheering on their teammates.
What will your team need to improve for this season to be a success? We will need to improve our defensive rebounding as well as our ability to take care of the ball if we want to be successful.
Who are your team leaders? Our team leaders are No. 23 Akasha Prpich, No. 0 Anaiyah Reynolds and No. 1 Mya Speer. They are great kids who our other players will look to when we have a tough game.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? A newcomer that will make an impact is No. 12 freshman guard Madison Jacks. Madison is a starter for us due to her tough defense and rebounding. She is one of our smaller players but plays big and knows her role. She will be a huge asset for us this season.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season or achieve the goals you have set for the program? If we are able to defensive rebound this season we have a chance at making the state tournament.

GLENDALE PREP GRIFFINS

2A Central Region
2021-22 Record: 8-14 overall, 7-5 region (2A play-in round)
Coach: MJ DiPietro (fourth season as Glendale Prep head coach)
How many years have you coached basketball? Eight years.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Chemistry
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? Pacing the game.
Who are your team leaders? Maddie Caspers - No. 11, Senna Smith - No. 23, Abby Smith - No. 14, Abbe Fleming - No. 3.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Allyson Moore - No. 15.

IRONWOOD EAGLES

5A Northwest Region
2021-22 Record: 6-13, 5-5 region
Coach: Tatum Henderson (first year as Ironwood head coach)

How many years have you coached basketball? Iast year, I was the assistant coach for our girls’ program. This season will be my first year as a varsity head coach. 
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our team has many returners this year. We only had two seniors last season, so everyone else is returning to varsity for at least their second year. Because of this, we have multiple girls who are seasoned at the varsity level and who have played together for several seasons. This allows for them to continue to build upon and capitalize on the chemistry that has been developed over the last several years.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? More so than anything, we need to develop a winning mentality in order to be successful this season. Because the program has struggled in the past, we are aiming to create a new culture that promotes a successful program led by athletes who possess a growth mindset. After so many years of losses, it is important that we begin to establish ourselves as a winning program and even more important that the girls see themselves that way.
Who are your team leaders? Our team leaders are Adelynne York, Alexis Villa and Anna Moses who are all returning seniors. Adelynne is one of our most positive players. She is hardworking and often verbally encourages teammates. She provides a level headedness that other girls rely on and look up to. Alexis leads both verbally and by example. She is one of the players that I rely on to command the floor as her basketball IQ is very high. She is also a hard worker whose effort and passion for the game is evident to both her coaches and teammates. Anna leads by example as she is one of our players who is always giving 100%, whether it be during practice or in a game. Her teammates and coaches can depend on her to give her all in every game. Anna rarely gets frustrated or flustered and can persevere through any obstacles that she faces on the floor.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? We have two freshmen additions to our varsity squad this season: Jeorgia Parks and Addison Monahan. These two girls have already made an impact on our program. They are a presence in both practices and games. Although these two are very different players, they both bring the same young energy that our team is in need of. Although we are lucky to have many returning upperclassmen, having a couple youngsters to bring in a sense of newness has been very beneficial to our team.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season, or achieve the goals the team has set? Our main goal this season is to provide structure that will eventually lead to the formation of a winning program. We are working on things like habits, mental strength, expectations, and discipline which will contribute to the development of a successful program.

KELLIS COUGARS

5A Northwest Region
2021-22 Record: 3-19 overall, 1-9 region
Coach: Shanelle Balark (fifth year as Kellis head coach)

How many years have you coached basketball? This is my fifth year as  the head coach at Kellis High School and seventh year coaching basketball in general.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our teams best attribute this season is that we have some seasoned girls who know our system and can help lead our younger players. We have girls that have learned a ton the last few years and are starting to lead those around them. It makes for a good culture and allows us to keep getting better.
What will your team need to improve for this season to be a success? Overall, we need to improve in our basketball IQ across all three levels. Seeing things on the floor sooner and not being hesitant to try new things. We learn from failing and need to put ourselves in more uncomfortable situations to really begin to succeed.
Who are your team leaders? Our team leaders this year are Hannah Williams and Thalia Jackson. Both players are returning senior varsity players in our program. They both are very consistent in showing up each day ready to work both in the season and during the off-season. They are becoming more vocal leaders with their teammates and encouraging them to step up and help others get better.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Newcomer to our squad would be Shanielle Mallory, who is our freshman point guard. She has great court vision, high IQ, handles the ball well with pressure, can finish well around the rim, and shoots well. Overall she’s a high level player and will make an impact this year and for the next four years in our program.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season? I think like most teams we need to stay healthy all year to make the playoffs this season. If we can stay healthy and continue to give good effort and challenge one another in each practice we will be successful. Playing games that are close and come down to the wire will challenge us and help us prepare for the pressure.

MOUNTAIN RIDGE MOUNTAIN LIONS

6A Desert Valley Region
2021-22 Record: 23-4 overall, 7-3 region (6A first round)
Coach: Jaime Carreon (fifth year as Mountain Ridge head coach)
Top Returnees: F Janae Floyd, Sr. 5-9 (11 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.8 spg), SG Alyssa Fraulino, Sr., 5-8 (11.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg)

How many years have you coached girls basketball? 23rd year head coach in girls basketball, fifth year at Ridge.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Senior leadership and seven solid returners
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? With the new shot clock, time management, and getting stops will be a new big asset this year.
Who are your team leaders? Seniors Hannah Uhlenhop, Alyssa Fraulino and Janae Floyd in regards to what they have accomplished (playing varsity since freshman year) are the most decorated players our program has ever had.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Miyah Verse (although not new to Ridge) will make the biggest impact. Coming from the AZ Elite Prep program and has signed to play at the University of Georgia next year.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season or achieve the goals you have set for the program? We have a tough schedule this year. Being consistent on both ends of the floor, not getting into foul trouble and make our free throws, all the controllables.

SUNRISE MOUNTAIN MUSTANGS

5A Northwest Region
2021-22 Record: 24-3 overall, 9-0 region (5A semifinals)
Coach: Jen Tolle (11th year as Sunrise Mountain head coach)
Top Returnees: F Mackenzie Dunham, Sr. 5-10 (15.3 ppg, 12.6 rpg), SG Mackenzie Nielsen, Sr., 5-10 (14 ppg, 2.8 rpg)

How many years have you coached girls basketball? 11 years
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We have a good mix of experience and youth. Our veteran players have played in some big games and have a lot of valuable experience and our young players have a great work ethic and enthusiasm for this season. I am excited to see what this team will grow into.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We need to be stronger on the defensive end of the floor. This will help fuel our productivity on the offensive end.
Who are your team leaders? Reena Bhakta, Mackenzie Nielsen, and Mackenzie Dunham are our three strongest players and team leaders. Reena is a quiet and steady presence on the floor, she does everything for us and makes it look effortless. Highest basketball IQ of any player I have ever coached. Mackenzie Nielsen is one of the best shooters in the state and has a heart for bringing people together. She makes everyone feel included. Mackenzie Dunham impacts the game in every way, she is a monster on the offensive and defensive glass. She has also added some range to her shot this summer. She is an encourager to her teammates and some who competes night in and night out.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Our sophomore class are not newcomers, but they are stepping into new roles this season. We will be relying on them to contribute in a lot of different areas. I am confident that they are up to the challenge. Abby Leahy and Savanna Dotray in particular seemed poised to make a big leap.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season or achieve the goals you have set for the program? To achieve our goals this season we need to play to our standard each night. Everyone wants to knock off Sunrise and we get the best shot from each team we play. Our focus needs to be on being the best version of ourselves and not worrying about expectations. When we play hard, play smart, and play together we can compete with the best.

Cactus Cobras, Centennial Coyotes, Glendale Prep Griffins, Ironwood Eagles, Kellis Cougars, Mountain Ridge Mountain Lions, Sunrise Mountain Mustangs, Miyah Verse, Mackenzie Dunham