Osage Indians, Camdenton Lakers, Eldon Mustangs, Versailles Tigers, Macks Creek Pirates and Climax Springs Cougars

OSAGE INDIANS

From Head Coach Scott Rowland:

Class/District: Class 4, District 11

2016-17 Record or Finish: 22-7 overall, state quarterfinals

Graduated or Moved Players: Jordyn Bartlett, Kendal Miller, Clare Colonius and Kelsey Laramore

Top Returners and Any Accolades: Senior Kenzi King, senior Rose Colonius, junior Kerrigan Gamm (All-Tri County Conference and All-District) and junior Carson Wood

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for the 2017 season?

A: This is going to be a very interesting year for our program. For the first time in six years we will not have a tall, inside presence. Seeing how our girls adjust to that is going to be fun to watch and a huge part of how successful we are. Every year is a new year in which old and new players step into and accept different roles. We've talked a couple of times this year that basketball is a war between who we are and who we want to be. One of the best parts of coaching this team will be seeing how the ladies become what they want to be.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time? 

A: Strength-wise I think would be our overall athleticism. We hope to really be an up-tempo team and get good, quick shots on our end. I think our defensive speed can be an asset and cause other teams problems, although right now it is not where it needs to be.

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon?

A: We, as a team, will have to improve on our half-court offense. When we have to run a play, we must execute and get good looks. Another area that we must improve on is our free throw shooting percentage. If we are going to attack the basket, we must be able to make our free throws. As of right now, we must also improve our press application. We aren't quite as disciplined with it as we need to be, but I have faith that it will come around.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year? 

A: Mostly, I just want them to end the season knowing that they did all that they could to put themselves in a position to be successful. We can control our effort and our attitude. If we can do those things, then I think we have the chance to do well in tournaments as well as conference and district at the end of the season.

CAMDENTON LAKERS

From Head Coach Staci Caffey: 

Class/District: Class 5, District 10

2016-17 Record or Finish: 15-10 overall 

Moved or Graduated Athletes: Blair Kurtz and Tegan Shockley

Top Returners and Any Accolades: Senior Coley Rezabek and junior Natalie Basham (Both All-Ozark Conference and All-District First Team)

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for the 2017 season?

A: The energy and intensity these young ladies play with. 

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time? 

A: I would have to say our speed is definitely our biggest strength that stands out right now. 

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon? 

A: Being patient on offense and finishing around the basket. 

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year? 

A: Our team goal is to focus on the little things that we can control and to do them to the best of our ability. The keys that will lead us to success will be leaving everything on the court. I challenge each player to hold nothing back and play like it’s their last time on the court. These young ladies have an “All-In” mentality and play with so much drive and heart. The Lady Lakers like to play a fast pace up-tempo style of ball that is fun to watch. We would love for everyone to put on their purple and come out and support your Lady Lakers. 

ELDON MUSTANGS

From Head Coach Ashley Agee: 

2016-17 Record or Finish: 21-6 overall

Moved or Graduated Athletes: We graduated three starters in Taylor Pehle, Brooklyn Bledsoe and Maddi Partridge. 

Top Returners and Any Accolades: Senior Macie Halderman (1st Team All-Tri County Conference and All-District) and senior Grace Baucom

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for the 2017 season? 

A: We are looking forward to bringing back several players from last year’s team who were role players to now step up and become the keys players for our program. We are also excited about bringing in a couple of young kids who have the potential to be impact keys off the bat. We hope to build on past success and keep the culture and high expectations of our team. If we can do those two things, we will have a chance to be successful this year. That will based off the leadership of our older ones and team togetherness as we will be young in some areas.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: Strengths are our ability to play fast and get up and down the floor. We are very versatile in the guard position which will allow us to see some different combos on the floor. 

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon?

A: I hope we can improve on the defensive end of the floor. That has been our focus for the past two seasons and we need to continue to improve in that area of our game. I preach every day that defense wins ball games, offense sells tickets and your best offense is your defense. Our goal is to hold every team to one shot a possession on defense and not be out-rebounded. Those goals will win you basketball games.  

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year? 

A: We don’t have any specific goals at this time besides to get better. We can always get better at something. Our goals usually change for each team, but as long as we as a whole are getting better each game, I believe we are doing our job as a staff and a team. Keys to success are to do everything together. Every person on the team is an important piece to our puzzle and each player brings something unique to our team. 

VERSAILLES TIGERS

From Head Coach Tim Spiers: 

Class/District: Class 3, District 13

2016-17 Record or Finish: 0-23 overall 

Moved or Graduated Athletes: Cheyenne Espinosa

Top Returners and Any Accolades: Senior Kylynn Ballew, junior Carrie Hoffa and sophomore Kylie Viebrock 

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for the 2017 season? 

A: I’m looking forward to seeing how much improvement we’ve made in the past year. 

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: Our work ethic. 

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon?

A: I’m hoping our team can improve on their knowledge of basketball and the results that come from that. 

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year? 

A: Our goal is simple- we want to try to win a game. Once we’ve won one, our goal is to win another. Our keys to success will be working together as a team, improvement in our defensive game and scoring more points. 

MACKS CREEK PIRATES

From Head Coach Diedre Meade: 

Class/District: Class 1, District 7

2016-17 Record or Finish: 19-7 overall, District Semifinals

Moved or Graduated Athletes: None

Top Returners and Any Accolades: Shelby Willis (1st Team All-District, 1st Team All-State, KJEL All-Star Team) and Jesse Willis (2nd Team All-District)

Q: What are you looking forward to as you begin your first season as the head coach of the Macks Creek girls’ basketball program?

A: I’m excited for the group I get to work with. After losing none to graduation and gaining a good freshman group, I think they can really improve on their 19-7 record from last year. They have been working hard during practice and have already improved a lot on some things.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time? 

A: The team is all-around pretty quick, so we are going to try to push the tempo. They have been working hard on their defense so far and have improved with it since this summer. 

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon? 

A: I’m hoping they can learn to finish games. In the past they have played close to teams, but could not finish the game out so our main focus has been to win in those close situations. 

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year? 

A: Our goal is to win of course, but we have put targets on Hermitage and Wheatland since they played for the district championship last year.  They definitely  have the talent for postseason play, but they will have to learn new roles and stick together for them to be successful this year. 

CLIMAX SPRINGS COUGARS

From Head Coach Kirstie Saultz: 

Class/District: Class 1, District 7

2016-17 Record or Finish: We are returning our first team since the 2015-16 season. 

Moved or Graduated Players: None

Top Returners and Any Accolades: Sophomore Cierra Drake played with the boys as a freshman. 

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for the 2017 season? 

A: A chance to start back up and get the girls’ program rolling again. We have an exciting group coming in this year and next year. 

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time? 

A: We’re young, but we’re still trying to find our identity. 

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon?

A: Gaining experience and learning to compete at a high level. It is going to be a process, but it’s eventually all going to come together. 

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year?

A: Our goals are to get better every day and be able to put everything we’re working on together. There are going to be a lot of growing pains, but these kids are going to have a successful future if they continue to put in the hard work and learn new things every day.