Lady Mustangs charge into basketball season
West Grand’s lady Mustangs are looking for a bit of redemption this year.
After finishing last season with a lackluster 5-17 record the girls from Kremmling are looking to rebound and find more success on the court.
“I don’t feel that record really truly speaks for us as a team,” Elizabeth Bauer, head coach for the West Grand lady Mustangs basketball team, said. “We had a lot of close games last year where we were right there.”
At roughly the halfway mark for the season the lady Mustangs’ record stands at 3-6 as the team prepares for a pair of upcoming away games. As the West Grand women look to improve on their record from last season they are also doing a bit of rebuilding. The team’s roster for the 2018 – 19 basketball season features 18 student athletes, including both junior varsity and varsity squads.
The last two years have seen high turnover for Kremmling’s girls team. According to Bauer, who is the West Grand High School principal, the end of last season brought the departure of four senior girls. That was one year after the team lost eight senior girls in 2016 – 17.
“Coming off of two years where we had pretty good senior leadership, yea it is a bit of rebuilding,” Bauer said. “It is definitely going to be a growth year for us. We had several girls come out that have not played before and a freshman class coming in.”
Bauer, who is in her fourth season as head coach, said she typically suits up 12 players for varsity games but added that out of her varsity squad around five have had significant previous exposure to varsity action. Of those five players only two have seen significant playing time on varsity in the past. Bauer said she is hoping to see a lot of leadership and development this season from those two young ladies: senior Anna Douglas, the team’s only senior, and Emma DeSanti.
“I am really hoping to see them blossom as leaders and to bring the rest of the team with them,” Bauer said. “They have the experience and I completely trust them and their skills.”
Coach Bauer said she sees her team’s unselfish attitudes and hard work ethic as their greatest strengths.
“These girls are really unselfish players,” Bauer said. “They work really hard. Not one of them is scared of hard work. As a coach that is so refreshing and encouraging. I think our team is only going to get better and better as we learn and grow together.”
Overall Bauer said she is working closely with the girls to improve their overall understanding of the game, its strategies and mechanics. Bauer said she is looking to make the girls “students of the game” and to increase their “basketball I.Q.”
Assisting Bauer with those efforts this year is first year assistant coach Jess Buller, who is also principal of West Grand Elementary School.
Looking ahead at the rest of the season Coach Bauer highlighted several games as notable games for local fans to watch closely including home games against Rangely and Meeker, on Jan. 18 and Feb. 2 respectively, as well as the regular season finale for the lady Mustangs as they take on North Park in Walden on Feb. 15.
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