Staff photo/Tate Thomson
                                L-r: Back row: Bailee Lambright, Stella Parsons, Alex Holman, Brittany Muir, Ava Hoffman, Leah Black, Tori Polda, Piper Taylor. Front row: Rachel Starr, Olivia Meenan, Liz Cruz, Darcy Ayers, Fallon Taylor, Olivia Germain.

Staff photo/Tate Thomson L-r: Back row: Bailee Lambright, Stella Parsons, Alex Holman, Brittany Muir, Ava Hoffman, Leah Black, Tori Polda, Piper Taylor. Front row: Rachel Starr, Olivia Meenan, Liz Cruz, Darcy Ayers, Fallon Taylor, Olivia Germain.

Friday Harbor girls basketball shoots for confidence, speed | Sports preview

With a team full of skilled athletes, coach and Friday Harbor High School Principal Fred Woods, expects this year’s girls basketball season will be outstanding.

“The experience our returning seniors have will make us competitive,” said Woods. This will be the fourth year Woods has coached the girls basketball team. Basketball he has said is one of his favorite pastimes.

Returning seniors are Ava Hoffman, Leah Black, Victoria Polda and Piper Taylor. But Woods continued on saying many of the younger players are rising stars as well. In fact, he said, noting that sophomores Rachel Starr and Darcy Ayers were major contributors to the team last year, and he expects to see their talent grow throughout the year. Woods is also looking forward to seeing freshman Olivia Germain, already a strong athlete, develop her skills.

The focus this year will be on speed and confidence in shooting the ball, he said, adding that it is nice to have a core group of experienced players, including younger members of the team, to create a deep pool to draw from on the court.

The teams to beat, according to Woods, are La Conner and Orcas.

“I expect La Conner to be top of the league in the state,” Woods noted, saying both LaConner and Orcas have stellar coaches and players. The Wolverine game schedule is tough, he added. The girls kick off the season against a 2A league team, the Blaine Borderites on Nov. 27, losing 48-38. Friday Harbor High school is in the 2B league. The league of a school district is relative to how many students are enrolled.

This year, the team will not be attending the tournament in Juneau Alaska. That playoff changes location every year, and this year, it took place in November, in Port Townsend, Washington, Woods said.

From Nov. 30-Dec. 1, Friday Harbor hosted the “Tip-Off Classic” tournament, which essentially kicked off the basketball season for both girls and boys. The girls took on Clallam Bay, who won 48-31. On Dec. 5, the girls lost to the Coupeville Wolves, in an away game, by only 2 points, 34-32.

The first home game will be at noon, Saturday, Dec. 8, when the lady Wolverines face off against a 1A team, Nooksack Valley Pioneers.