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Kofa girls basketball reaches new heights
Last season as a freshman, Kacey Nady had to forego her more comfortable position on the perimeter to play inside.
That generally is what happens when you're the only 6-foot player on an undersized team loaded with small guards.
This year, with three other players 5-11 or taller on the Kofa roster, Nady's looking forward to getting back to the outside.
“I love shooting threes and I'm glad we have a lot of tall girls this year,” Nady said. “I'm real excited to play with Emily (Crouch) because I didn't get to play with her last year. It should be fun.”
The 6-foot Crouch was injured before the start of last season, leaving coach Eric Krepps with a hole in the middle of his offense. Six-footer Jackie Fuentes and 5-11 Makyla Orman join the varsity club this year, not to mention the return of Jenna McKenna, who anchors the team on defense.
“Kacy got a trial by fire,” Krepps said. “It's awesome to have both of them back now. Obviously we have Jenna, our defensive backbone, one of the most athletic kids I've ever seen. So it's going to be good.”
Last year, the team featured guards Ronnie Moreno and Amanda Garcia, who anchored the Kings for three seasons. But while the graduation of the duo leaves an experience gap in the backcourt, Krepps said players like Nady and Crouch should help the Kings (15-8 overall, 8-2 Gila Valley Region in 2009-10) stay competitive.
“She's worked a lot on her post, a lot on her ball handling,” Krepps said. “We're going to have her at a few positions, not just center because Emily is back. She's a good athlete and can play the perimeter. It'll be fun to see what she's going to do.”
That's not to say she won't be playing down low, either.
“We're working on getting her tough on the inside, liking contact,” Krepps said. “But she's a speedster. It's nothing to get her on the fast break.”
The Kings made the postseason last year, losing in the first round to Tucson.
“We're pretty hopeful about this season,” McKenna said, “We have some experience, so we should be good.”
Playoffs or not, Krepps said he's just excited that his team has something it never has in previous seven years coaching the Kings.
“We've got, for the first time in my career, height,” Krepps said. “I've never really had height going back, this is year No. 8, never really had 6-footers. Now I have close to four. It's going to be fun.”