For the second straight season, the Camp Verde girls basketball team is looking to replace three graduating seniors who were invaluable.
Last season, Head Coach Mark Showers replaced 2012 graduates Lila Hickey, Tori Mathews and Mayra Perez with seniors Donnie Buss, Amanda Showers and Katie Wilson, with tremendous success.
Buss, Showers and Wilson led the Cowboy girls to a 23-6 regular season record and a state tournament bid.
This season, the girls team will be led by seniors Kaitlyn Harris and Maddy Showers and junior Kayla Sandoval. But Mark Showers said it’s not as easy as simply plugging new players into vacated positions.
“That’s always the question,” Showers said. “How are you going to replace them? And in what ways are the new players going to be able to step up and take some of those roles on?
“[Buss, Showers and Wilson] started for me for four years, and all three kids are playing basketball at the next level, in college. So to completely replace them, it just doesn’t happen. So what you do is — it’s kind of like making a collage, now you have to figure out how do the new pieces fit together.”
Showers said that the first week of practice has been spent assessing the makeup of the team, such as the talent level, how many guards and how many post players there are, how much team speed do they have and how accurate their shooting is. Then, he tries to put those things into place.
But the main thing, he said, is that the team has great leadership, and he is happy that Harris, Maddy Showers and Sandoval have stepped into those roles.
“The nice thing is, I have those three girls who have done a great job of leading this team throughout our summer basketball and coming into the season,” he said. “I’m really happy with our leadership situation right now, and that’s probably the most important thing as you’re trying to regroup.”
For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Nov. 20, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.