By Chris Parker
El Dorado Springs girls basketball is poised for big things with its top two players from last year 15-11 squad in the sophomore duo of Reese Schaaf and Tevi Gurley returning. Schaaf averaged 17.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.6 steals per game last year. Gurley chipped in 11.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
“They both have spent a lot of time in the gym. They come in and expect to compete and win, no matter what sport they are playing. Tevi has gotten better at attacking the basket and has gained a lot of confidence handling the ball. Reese continues to get better and her basketball IQ is really high,” El Dorado Springs head coach Beau Swopes said. “I expect them to be our leaders this year. Both girls are long and athletic and have the ability to be very good defenders. They struggled some last year to stay out of foul trouble, but I expect them to do a better job this year. Reese will be one of main guards again this year, she may get to play more off the ball with the development of some of our other guards. Tevi will play a mixture of guard and post. Tevi shot the ball really well from the outside, but she is also capable of playing in the post with her athletic ability.”
Forwards Dani Ogle and Morgan Mitchell give Swopes two more rising sophomores to lean on.
The freshman trio of Macie Mays (guard), Hannah Klaiber (guard) and Chloe Middleton (forward) all expect to make an immediate impact. Kenley Widener is a senior who will be a new varsity contributor.
Versatility will be key for a team that will lack depth.
“We don’t have a lot of girls out, but the ones that our out can play multiple positions and they have a variety of ways that they are capable of scoring,” Swopes said. “We will need to pick up our intensity on the defensive end of the floor. We don’t have a lot of depth, so the girls will need to be able to play sound defense without getting into foul trouble.”
El Dorado Springs climbed over .500 for the first time since 2016 last year. The Lady Bulldogs are chasing their first 20-win season since their state champion season in 2014.
“We have really high expectations for this group. We return the majority of our scoring and rebounding and our young girls gained a lot of experience over last year and this summer,” Swopes said.
El Dorado Springs opens the season on Nov. 26 at Adrian.