Head coach: Brian Dunning, 4th year.
Last year’s record: 4-1 in District 2 standings and 14-7 overall.
Last state appearance: 2011.
Key returning players:
Jordan Parker, 5-8 guard/forward (averaged 11 pts and 6.4 rebounds a game last season)
Alexus Gomez, 5-4 guard (averaged 7.2 pts a game last season)
Shaina Encisco, 5-3 guard (averaged 5.37 pts. and 3.7 rebs. a game last season)
Kaitlyn Roesch, 5-4 guard
Rebecca Steerman, 5-5 guard
Katie Bronniman, 5-9 forward/post
McKenzie Kiniston, 5-5 forward
Teyha Dickerson, 5-7 sophomore
Team outlook: Last season, the Lady Cardinals saw their season end with a 38-31 loss to South Baca in the Region 3 Bracket 1 playoffs.
“I felt that it was a pretty successful season last year,” Dunning said. “Our girls developed a good work ethic. As the season progressed, we showed some consistency on offense and defense.”
Looking ahead to this season, Dunning said, “I’m just hoping for a consistent work ethic through the season. If our players put forth a good effort and attitude in practice and in games that could carry us far. As coaches we’re going to do our best to put them in a good situation to compete and have success.”
Dunning is counting on his three seniors to provide and build leadership for the team. “Jordan, Alexus, and Shaina have played for me since I took over the program,” Dunning said. “With their experience, I’m counting on good things from them to carry us.”
Looking at the teams in District 2, Dunning said that Kit Carson is the team to beat.
Defending state champion Kit Carson is ranked No. 1 ahead of No. 2 Fleming in the Class 1A preseason state rankings by CHSAAnow.com.
McClave is ranked No.6 and followed by No. 7 Kim/Branson and No. 8 South Baca.
“We want to be playing our best basketball towards the end of the season,” said Dunning. “The past three seasons we’ve made it to the regional tournament but haven’t advanced beyond that. One of our goals is to improve throughout the season and give ourselves the opportunity to take a step further.”
The Lady Cardinals open the season with a home game against Stratton/Liberty on Friday, Nov. 30.
The McClave girls will then participate in the Border Wars Tournament hosted by Syracuse High School on Tuesday, Dec. 4, Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8.
The Cardinals will play Tribune, Ks. at 1:30 on Dec. 4.
On Friday, Dec. 7, the McClave will face Syracuse at 4:30.
The Cardinals then play Johnson at 1:30 on Saturday, Dec. 8.