2016-17 basketball preview: Pleasant Hope Girls

By Denise Tucker

The Pleasant Hope Lady Pirates are on a streak that no team wants to be a part of.

The Lady Pirates, who went 0-25 overall and 0-7 in the Mid-Lakes Conference last season, extended their winless streak to 32 straight games. On the plus side, the Lady Pirates didn’t lose any players from last year, so there is plenty to build upon.

Sierra Sutton, a 5-10 junior post player, averaged 8 points and 9 rebounds per game last season and Courtney Jenkins, a 5-4 sophomore guard, chipped in with 7 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal per game for the Lady Pirates.

“Sierra will need to be a scoring and rebounding presence for us inside as I will need her to try to get double figures in points and rebounds,” said Pleasant Hope Athletic Director and first-year girls’ coach Brent Offerdahl. “Courtney needs to be an outside shooting threat for us to stretch zone defenses that will take away our outside game.”

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Pleasant Hope has five additional players slated to contribute this season. Nicole Mosley is a 5-6 senior guard, Gwen McClain, 5-9 freshman post, Faith Francka, 5-5 sophomore guard, Salette Trujillo, 5-8 junior post and Emma Wells, 5-5 junior guard, look to help the Lady Pirates turn the program around.

“My goals with the program will be built around rebuilding the program into a competitive atmosphere on a daily basis,” said Offerdahl, who is in his 10th year as AD and seventh as high school principal. “After struggling to field a team last year, it has been my main focus to recruit enough players to fill both a JV and varsity squad.”

The style of play has yet to be determined for the Lady Pirates; it is a work in progress.

“I would like to see where a competitive atmosphere on a daily basis can take us over the course of the season,” said Offerdahl, who also coached the boys’ basketball team for five years until 2010. “There is a current 32-game losing streak with the program and we are working with baby steps to move forward in the coming season. It is my hope that I can resurrect the girls’ basketball program over the next few years to a competitive atmosphere once again.”

Learning to win is a big expectation for the Lady Pirates.

“I expect kids to give maximum effort,” Offerdahl said. “I need all players to buy into my system. If they buy into it, I think we can become successful and competitive.”