The very young Lady Phantoms team opened the 2007 basketball season by dropping a hard fought scrimmage with the Ash Fork Spartans, 22-14, last Thursday night in Ash Fork.
Playing two 20-minutes halves, the young team showed much improvement over last year, according to Head Coach Dan Lopez. He attributes it to the off season work the girls put in last summer.
"Last season we averaged over 30 turnovers a game and tonight we had a total of 12," he said.
As tri-captains, returning seniors Lizzy Tobin and Ashana Jones, and Maria Caballero, provide leadership, anchoring a solid core of freshman and sophomores.
"Our starting guards on the varsity are very young so I am concerned about that area, but Liz Tobin can play any position so having that option is a nice luxury," Lopez said. Incoming freshmen Madison Berry, Chelsea Curtis and Josey Araiza will get plenty of varsity minutes at the guard spot, and freshman Savannah McBroom, along with sophomores Natalie Martinez and Shannon Harris provide solid inside depth.
Monique Streit has made tremendous improvement and will also provide depth at the one and two spot.
"We have a few kids that need to take care of some academic responsibilities and if they come through we are going to have 19 girls on the JV and varsity. We will be able to play an up-tempo style of basketball both offensively and defensively," Lopez explained. "That gets the kids excited, so we hope to get big crowds at our home games because we are going to be fun to watch."
The girls open the season in the annual Williams Route 66 basketball tournament that starts Nov 29. Opponent and game times have not been announced as of yet.