Grangeville High School
Conference: 2A Central Idaho League
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Head Coach: Michelle Barger
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Previous Experience: JV at Lapwai, JV at Shelby, MT, Grad Asst at LCSC, Youth AAU, College Basketball at Medicine Hat College in Alberta, Canada
Record Last Year: 13-10
McKenzie Kennedy G 12
Paige Lindsley G 10
Rachel Kelley P 12
Returning Players with Honors:
McKenzie Kennedy- All-North Idaho League
Incoming impact players:
Kate Lutz 11
Mikayla Ruzicka 11
Sophie Bush 12
Written by: Brandon McIntosh
Last season ended an era of Grangeville basketball with Coach Anderson retiring, but not after leading the Bulldogs to a State appearance with a senior laden team. Taking over the reins is Michelle Barger. She has extensive coaching experience from AAU up to the college ranks, including stop at Lewis-Clark State College and across the border in Canada.
Coach Barger will have her share of obstacles with the loss of a lot of experience, size, and one of the best guards at the 2A level. What she does have is the assistance of senior All-First teamer, Mckenzie Kennedy and her leadership. Kennedy played a major role last season being a part of the two-headed scoring machine for the Bulldogs
Returning to join Kennedy are senior post Rachel Kelley and sophomore guard Paige Lindsley that impressed several opposing coaches with the discipline and work ethic that she possesses. Joining the crew will senior Sophia Bush and juniors Kate Lutz and Mikayla Ruzicka. Together, they will look to challenge St. Maries and Orofino for the league title.
This year, the job will be even tougher with only three teams in the league. Coeur d’Alene Charter opted up to the 3A division citing travel issues. Now there is even more importance to winning the league. Along with the important league games, the Bulldogs will be doing battle with several quality teams to get prepared-Lapwai, Prairie, Genesee, and Colton (WA).
Grangeville is approaching this season with the team basketball approach.
“It is going to take something from everyone-balanced scoring, playing hard and hustle,” said Coach Barger. “Play hard, play smart, play together. We will focus on fundamentals and being mentally tough.”
The team will hear that message repeated constantly throughout the season.