It’s a whole new ballgame for the Friday Harbor High School girls varsity basketball team, with only one returning starter out of five for the 2016-17 season.
“They might be a young team, but the seniors will lead,” said Varsity Coach Fred Woods.
Junior Sierra Bailey, point guard, is the only returning starter. Bailey, who has started since her sophomore year, joins the seniors Alexa Mora, Hannah Hopkins and Hayden Meyer as starters. Meyer is 5 feet, 10 inches and one of the tallest players.
“I really want to build the team together, to really be unified,” said Meyer, No. 21. “Winning will come when we have fun.”
Woods said the league team to beat is La Conner, who is returning with four starters. Last year, La Conner was 13-1 in the league and 18-6 overall, but lost to Friday Harbor in the first round before state.
Last year, the Wolverines ended the season with a 20-6 overall record. Woods took the team to the state Northwest 2B/1B League tournament in his first year coaching. In the first round, they lost to Wahkiakum, which finished fifth in the state. Wahkiakum returns with their top two scorers and four starters. This year, they will play Friday Harbor in the regular season for the first time.
“They’re one of the best teams in the state,” said Woods. “It’s good for us to play a team of this caliber.”
Bailey’s aggressiveness on the court and Meyer’s ability to lead scores drive the team.
“It’s a new team with a different style,” said Woods. “We just need to get out there and see what we can accomplish.”
The team is comprised of three seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and one freshman.
They opened the season with consecutive Friday Harbor Tip-off Classic games on Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3. The Wolverines play 12 league games, in two-game series, with one away and one home. They will play their six league rivals, as well as some 1A and 2A teams.
The next game is Saturday, Dec. 10 against Mount Baker at home. The season ends playing one of the biggest competitors, La Conner, away.