It’s time to crank up the intensity.
“We’re a really balanced team that I think could go pretty far, but we need to see our defensive intensity stay up,” senior Madi Plautz said. “It needs to be that crazy, in-your-face intensity.”
Stanwood girls hoops will put their gameplan to the test in the season-opener Tuesday, Dec. 3, at home against Anacortes.
The Spartans feature a mix of veteran seniors and talented freshmen.
“We’re still trying to figure out our personality and who fits well with who,” first-year head coach Trent Adams said. “We have four seniors with lots of experience and great leadership. And we have freshmen who have played together for years, too. Now they have to blend.”
So far, so good, Adams and players said.
“(Coach) Trent has been able to find everybody’s strengths and identify what kind of things will work to put us in position so everyone will be successful,” senior Gabs Green said.
The Spartans will start by focusing on slowing an opponent down on defense and speeding play up on offense.
“I like playing the fast style, but I don’t like to force it,” Adams said of his offensive playbook.
Stanwood hired Adams in the spring after Nick Amrine resigned following his first year leading the program.
“We have the depth and diversity to put out different lineups depending on the opponent,” senior Rachel Dunning said. “Coach has done a great job creating a highly competitive environment (at practice).”
They’ll be preparing for the highly competitive Wesco 3A schedule, featuring plenty of perennial challengers.
“If you do well in the Wesco, you do well in postseason,” Adams said. “We’ll see some really challenging matchups early in the season so we’re going to know early how we stand and what we need to work on.”
The Spartans will be starting the season full of energy, but hungry for more wins than the 11 from last season.
“We’re gearing up for a long season,” Adams said. “We’re going to get better throughout the season.”
That’s the plan, the seniors said.
“We have bigs to help us down low, but we also have some really fast girls,” said Plautz, a four-year varsity player. “We need good communication and to trust each other for the entire game if we want to make it through the really tough Wesco. And lots of intensity — even the intensity from the bench changes the game. So far we’re bringing lots of energy.”
Stanwood girls at a glance
- Head coach: Trent Adams, 1st season
- Last season: 11-11 overall, 7-6 in league. Advanced to district tournament.
- Returners: Shelby Lund, sr.; Madison Plautz, sr.; Gabriella Green, sr.; Rachel Dunning, sr.; Madeline Larson, jr.; Taylor Murphy, jr.; Paige Almanza, so.
- Newcomers: Ava Cook, so; Grace Walker, fr.; Tatum Brager, fr; Chloe Santeford, fr; Vivienne Berrett, fr.
- What to look for: The chemistry of the senior core will dictate the start to the season, however, the Spartans will also work in four talented freshmen. "Fans will see a team still learning to play together," head coach Trent Adams said. But after a summer and fall of practicing, scrimmaging and competing together, look for these Spartans to hit the ground running but able to adapt on the fly as the season progresses. After two tests this week — Anacortes on Tuesday and Kamiak on Thursday — the Spartans host rival Arlington on Dec. 10 in a huge early-season showdown.