Mavericks focused on developing its younger players | Girls basketball

Meadowdale roster stays largely intact with underclassmen
By David Pan | Jul 21, 2017
Photo by: David Pan Meadowdale’s Taylor Kesselring brings the ball up the court. Kesselring saw a lot of court time this spring and summer.

A young Meadowdale girls basketball team gained valuable experience this spring and summer.

The Mavericks played in three tournaments – Snohomish, Edmonds Shootout and King’s – and also had practices and conditioning sessions.

Meadowdale graduated only two seniors – Selina Tekle and Grace Wilson – but continues to be one of the younger teams in the Wesco 3A South.

Guard Kaeli McKinley is the lone senior-to-be, who was on the varsity roster full-time last season.

“All in all we’re a pretty young program for the next couple of years,” Meadowdale coach Caitlyn Houvener. “We didn’t have that large of a junior class last year. We won’t have a ton of seniors this year. It’ll be exciting to see who steps up in November.”

The younger players had even more of an opportunity to be on the court this offseason as McKinley and sophomore Lilly Williams were both out due to injuries.

“It’s been a good start,” Houvener said. “The girls are working hard. It’s fun to get to know the good group of incoming freshmen.”

Houvener liked what she saw from her varsity team at the three tournaments. Some of last season’s junior varsity players moved up and had solid performances on the court Houvener said.

“We’ve definitely been more competitive than the past couple of summers,” Houvener said. “We’re really competing at a higher level. It’s exciting to see. The girls had a lot of fun. I’m excited for the Lady Mavs. … It’ll be interesting to see how we do next season.”

Meadowdale will have ample options at point guard with the return of juniors Jaislyn Hart and Catherine Do. Junior Taylor Kesselring, a junior varsity player last season, saw a lot of court time this summer.

“There’s definitely going to be competition at point guard,” Houvener said. “We have some incoming freshmen that we’ve noticed over the summer.”

The Meadowdale coach plans to take a wait-and-see attitude with the point guard position and see who sets themselves apart later on in the year.

Junior Adriana Valadez, who had been on varsity since her freshman season, has stepped up in the offseason.

“She’s one of our hardest working players,” Houvener said. “She’s had a solid summer.”

Sophomore Alicia Morrison, who was pulled up to the varsity squad halfway through the regular season, also has played well this summer.

“She can drive to the basket and draw contact,” Houvener said. “Everyone has been working hard. Different girls have stepped up.”

This week Houvener and some of the players, along with coaches and players from the Meadowdale boys basketball program, hosted their annual youth camp.

In addition to campers as young as kindergarteners, Rohrbach and her players had the chance to work with some of the incoming freshmen for the last time in a camp setting.

“It’s fun to have them as campers,” Houvener said. “It’s one of my favorite things that we do every summer.”

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