Frank Workman on Sports: SC / SW Girls Hoopapalooza Preview

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Frank Workman
By Frank Workman

Expect the new gym at Shorewood High School to be rocking Saturday night when the Shorecrest girls invade the T-Birds home at 5pm (ahead of the boys’ 7 o’clock tip-off) for this year’s much-anticipated Hoopapalooza.

The Scots come into Saturday’s game with a WESCO League record of 7-1, 12-3 for the season, while the T-Birds are two games behind the Scots in the standings at 5-3 (11-4 overall).

Both girls’ squads are off to very impressive starts and showcase young talent that only figures to get better in the years to come.

Both teams feature balanced scoring. The Scots are led by senior Oniye Chibuogwu’s 11.1 points per game, followed closely by impressive freshman point guard Keyonna Jones (10.6 ppg) and super-speedy sophomore Wurrie Njadoe (10.1 ppg).

Leading the scoring for the T-Birds is sophomore Lily Gustafson with 13.3 per game. Free-spirited freshman Taryn Shelley (all 6’ 2” of her) is averaging 8.5 a game, and the fiercely determined Karrin Leazer chips in 8.2.

When these two teams met mid-December, it was Shorecrest who escaped with a hard-fought 44-41 win. Since then, the Scots, with veteran head coach Dori Monson at the helm, have knocked off defending District champs Everett in the Seagulls’ gym, as well as giving league-leading Mountlake Terrace its only loss.

The T-birds first-year coach Erica Merkley has her girls playing better basketball in the last few weeks, as home wins over Everett and perennial power Glacier Peak will attest. Instilling a new system, philosophy, and values is a tough task for any coach, but Merkley’s team is responding, proving themselves to be abundantly coachable.

The girls’ game at five o’clock precedes the boys contest, and as such it may be seen as an appetizer.

But for those who love the girls’ game, it figures to be enough for a main course.


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