By Chris Parker
Greenfield girls basketball is hungry to get back on the court after coming up five points short of a Class 2 quarterfinal appearance last year. The Wildcats won 21 games and a district title before falling to eventual Class 2 third place finisher Blue Eye 42-38 in the sectional round.
“Last year was incredibly motivating time for the team,” Greenfield head coach Loganne Hickman said. “From the start of season to the finish, the team came in with a refuse to lose attitude and, for the most part, it translated throughout the season. The Blue Eye game was extremely bitter sweet for us. Knowing how close we were to knocking off a great team like Blue Eye and falling five points short has left the returning girls hungry. The returners have not only continued to stay motivated on their own progress, but they have really stepped up in recruiting others to join the team, pushing new faces to high potentials, and really just setting the expectations of the girls basketball program to a high standard. You can tell the team takes pride in their hard work and that is nice to see.”
The top three scorers from last year’s team return led by junior Marlie Wright. Wright poured in 17.8 point per game with 5,7 rebounds, 3 steals and 1.5 assists per game last year.
“Marlie is a knockout shooter. She can hit the dagger three and then turn around and beat any matchup to the rim. She is a kid that teams plan around because of her scoring ability,” Hickman said. “(We expect her to) continue improving herself while raising the level of play of those around her. Marlie is a smart kid, she knows what it is going to take to win this year and I look for her to get her teammates involved whether that is by being a motivator, floor general, or just holding her teammates to a high standard.”
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Junior Trista Torres was the team’s second-leading scorer at 11.5 points per game to go with 5.5 rebounds and 2.9 steals per game.
“Trista is our workhorse,” Hickman said. “She is small, but she plays larger than life. She isn’t afraid to drive the paint and bump with the bigs on her way to the rim. She is a great kid who is a guaranteed all-out effort giver. Trista stepped up offensively for us last year and allowed our offensive game to evolve and become more aggressive.”
Greenfield will be without leading rebounder Tatum Torres who tore her ACL in the first volleyball match of the year. She pulled down 8.7 rebounds per game last year.
“Tatum will be a huge missing piece for us this year,” Hickman said. “Tatum tore her ACL in the opening varsity volleyball jamboree this year. She will be out for the season. She was a dominating force on the boards for us last year and had several double-double games for us the last half of the 2020-2021 season.”
Jasmine Feezell will be another key returning junior player.
“Jasmine doesn’t have the stat line of our other returners, but she plays a big role for us,” Hickman said. “She is the kid responsible for handling big bodies and keeping them off the boards for us. Jasmine does a great job embracing her role and a lot of our rebounding success and paint control is due to her fulfilling her job.”
Greenfield will add a pair of juniors to the lineup this year in Haley Gosset and Addi Kinder.
Hickman on Gosset: “Haley is an upperclassman that will be returning to play this season after a year off. Haley will have an immediate impact with her quickness and length. I look for Haley to be a valuable asset defensively and on the boards. Haley’s quickness should also allow her to collect some easy offensive transition points.”
Hickman on Kinder: “Although this will be Addi’s first year playing high school basketball, I believe she will be able to have an immediate impact. Addi will be stepping up to play post for us this season. She is a strong kid that has showcased an early desire to be fundamentally sound. I look for her to be a nice strong addition inside that allows us to handle bigger teams.”
Greenfield will lean on its guards for success this year.
“Guard play will be our biggest strength this year. We will be small and quick and we return our top two scorers in Marlie Wright and Trista Torres,” Hickman said. “We are looking to be a pretty small team this year with not much depth. We are going to have to get creative with our smaller stature and figure out ways to handle bigger kids we face as well as toughen up on the boards.”
Greenfield opens the season on Nov. 23 at Walnut Grove.
“The overall expectation for the team this year is for the whole group to be all in,” Hickman said. “Whether you are a returner or a new player, every kid is going to have to be all in in order for us to accomplish our season goals. This season is going to test us, but I believe we can continue surprising people if we can keep the all in mentality.”