By Dana Harding (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
A familiar face takes over the helm at Spokane this season.
After assisting both the girls and boys programs for the past two years, Garet Nunan is set to lead the Lady Owls this winter.
Spokane finished the 2017-18 campaign with a 19-9 record, falling to eventual Class 2 state champion Skyline in the district championship.
Nunan’s first order of business will be replacing a talented quintet of graduated seniors, including Casey Wallace, a career 1,500-point scorer and the state’s all-time leader for made 3-pointers.
Wallace now plays for Lyon College.
“Casey Wallace, Kaylee Armitage, Taylor Riott, Zabryna Hodges, and Alexys Hodges played with experience and intelligence,” Nunan said, “In particular, Casey represented a constant scoring threat and absorbed every team’s best defensive effort. Her awareness and savvy on the court, paired with her shooting and ball handling ability, made her a unique and prolific high school basketball player.”
Despite losing 75% of the team’s scoring and four starters, Spokane still has talent on the roster.
Junior Paige Tate (13.5 ppg, 13 rpg) and Micayla McClure (3 apg) return to lead what will be a young and inexperienced Lady Owl roster.
Tate, a 6-foot-1 post and lone returning starter, averaged a double-double in her sophomore season for Spokane and could threaten the 1,000-point career mark towards the end of the season.
“Paige is one of the top post players in the area, and this year we expect her to embrace a leadership role on a young and relatively inexperienced team,” Nunan said. “She is a smart player, and has a tool-box of post moves that make her difficult to guard one-on-one. She will be our vocal leader on defense and our first option on offense.”
Nunan is also optimistic about Spokane’s incoming freshman class and believes an impact trio of newcomers will provide a big boost to the program, including a pair of younger siblings with very familiar surnames.
Raylen Wallace (sister to Casey), KiKi Hodges (sister to Zabryna and Alexis) and LeAndra Bell should play vital roles for the Lady Owls this season.
Nunan believes the offense, at least early on, will focus inside and capitalize on Tate’s skillset.
“Our biggest strength currently is our size and skill in the post,” Nunan said. “I think we will outmatch most teams with our ability to score inside and rebound.”
While the team’s youth and inexperience will present a formidable challenge, Nunan is confident his players will rise to the occasion.
“Even though we lost the bulk of our roster to graduation, we fully expect to compete at the level of performance that the Spokane Lady Owl basketball program has in recent seasons,” Nunan said. “Our girls are skilled, hungry, and poised to exceed expectations.”
Spokane opens up its season at home against Verona Nov. 16.