PERRYDALE— Perrydale girls basketball coach Terry Newton hopes his team will be “really competitive” this season.
Fourteen girls turned out in November, a good number for Class 1A, and the roster includes some solid prospects.
“We’ve got pieces,” said Newton, who is in his eighth season as head of the program.
St. Paul has won the Casco League three years running and with a combined record of 36-1. Livingstone Adventist Academy figures to be tough, too, but Newton thinks the Pirates, regular-season league winners in 2017-18, could be one of the better teams in the conference.
“I think we’ll be very competitive in our league,” he said.
Senior Elana Porter is likely to lead the way.
“She might be the best player in our league,” Newton said.
The 5-7 combo guard was all-league last season.
“She’ll be one of the top 15 players in the state,” Newton said. “She’s a scorer with a nice outside shot, drives well, leads our press and has a serious motor, she goes all the time.
“You can struggle to get some girls to be aggressive, but we sometimes have to pull her back.”
Complementing Porter is a crew that includes seniors Heidi Juarez and Jayel Meyer.
Juarez “is an extremely good shooter with 3-point range and lots of experience in a program that’s used to winning,” Newton said. “She brings senior leadership and an all-around game.”
The 5-6 Meyer played two years ago, when the Pirates placed third in the state.
“She’ll be a really good player for us,” Newton said. “She’s very athletic, plays good defense on the ball, and good offense. She did a good job even as a freshman. She’s an all-league-type player, first or second team.”
Because the Pirates have only one junior, the sophomores and possibly even the freshmen have potential roles on the varsity.
Among the key sophomores is Isabelle Keene, who will battle in the post, using her athleticism to counter any height challenges. Also likely to compete for a post position is sophomore Becca Elkins, especially once she learns the system better.
And sophomore Ivy Janesofsky “knows the game really well,” Newton said.
The Pirates were 4-7 (4-3 in league) last season, which Newton said proved to be “really tough” because of the pandemic.
“A lot of girls didn’t even try out,” he said. “And there were a lot of ups and downs.”
Three games got canceled.
“But we competed and worked hard,” Newton said.
The Pirates will be back at it this year, running their triangle and pick-and-roll offensive sets, with some flex mixed in, and playing more man-to-man than zone defense. Newton promises the Pirates will press a lot.
Perrydale’s opening three games are at home. The Pirates will take on Alsea on Thursday, face Waldport on Dec. 7 and meet Willamette Valley Christian in their Dec. 9 league opener.