BSHS girls basketball team reloads with promising new talent
More on the Bobcats next week
Next week we’ll catch up with the Basehor-Linwood girls basketball team, who, under first-year head coach Jason Tatkenhorst, has had a successful summer.
The Bobcats’ juniors and seniors squad placed first in the Mid America Basketball Tournament in Bonner Springs, led by seniors Jamie Johnson, Kara Stephens, Haley Waters and Samantha Rutherford.
The finish came in addition to a second-place performance in a weekly summer league.
“Everybody is feeling good,” Tatkenhorst said. “We hope this leads to great things this winter, knowing that we can win.”
Stay tuned to basehorinfo.com and the July 12 issues of The Chieftain and Sentinel for more.
— Stephen Montemayor
Coming off its best season in school history, the Bonner Spring girls basketball team has some rebuilding to do. With the graduation of Yessenia Hernandez, Emily Wilson, Erica Wilson and Erin Marx, coach Clay Oakes will have an untested roster. But Oakes has handled a situation like this in the past, and it produced last season’s sub-state championship.
“We were in this same position three years ago.” Oakes said. “When the girls who just graduated were sophomores we had to stick them in and play them when they were young. Over the course of the next two years all that experience settled in and we became a pretty good team.”
Last season the Braves set school records with most wins in a season (23), points scored (1,250), free throws (276) and rebounds (780), yet Oakes’ team was made up of size, something his new squad won’t have much of.
While the Braves have eight returning players, it might be a rookie having the biggest impact on the floor in freshman Julianne Jackson. Jackson has been gathering praise from both the junior varsity and varsity levels during her summer workouts, and may find herself slipping into a starting role on Oakes’ squad.
“She’s going to be someone that we expect to fill one of the starting positions on varsity.” Oakes said. “She’s real athletic, has great basketball sense and does a great job on the court. She has a natural ability for the game; things come to her smoothly and quickly. I see her being one of the best basketball players to come out of Bonner Springs.”
Oakes went on to say that the Braves would most likely have three starters with no varsity experience, opening up the chance for Jackson to cement a spot by the start of the season.
In putting together a plan to ready his new players, Oakes is reverting back to the one he used three years ago. Over the course of the summer the Braves will take part in 25 to 30 games to get the girls as much experience as possible.
Last Weekend, ninth- and 10th- graders on the team took third at the Mid America Youth Basketball tournament hosted by the Bonner Springs District Physical Education Center. The tournament not only gave more court time to junior varsity players who might leap to Oakes’ team this winter, but also gave the new JV coach, Crystal Richardson, a chance to work with her team.
Richardson takes over junior varsity after having coached volleyball, softball and tennis. Along with her coaching experience, Richardson also teaches health and P.E. at Bonner Springs High School.
“I want to have the girls really focused on the fundamentals and have them strong and ready to go for varsity.” Richardson said, before joking that running practices would make teaching her classes much easier.
Richardson said since taking over her priorities have been to make sure her girls can box out and take care of the ball. As she get acquainted with her team the day-to-day game plan will not be set in stone.
“Pretty much it’s just how the day goes, we’re on and off on different days, so whoever is feeling it will be on the floor.”
Yet Oakes has a stronger feeling for how Bonner Springs top girls squad will pan out. His hopes are higher than what he was working with in 2010.
“This team is more athletic than that team was,” Oakes said. “This team is a finesse type team. Realistically, I can see us having a 14-win season.”
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