Young, talented Knights expecting to put up a good fight | Girls basketball

Kamiak returns only one starter from last season
By David Pan | Nov 28, 2018
Abby Dente Kamiak junior center Sloane Loudenback came off the bench last season.

The Kamiak girls basketball team has a lot of work to do.

The Knights graduated three starters and lost the other to a torn ACL.

Coach Brian Norman said that Kamiak has about 10 points per game returning.

“We’ve got 40 to 50 points to make up somewhere,” he said. “So there are lots of opportunities for girls to step up.”

The graduation of starters Alex Gallaher, Karsen Alexander and Carolyn Brunner was expected. But the season-ending ACL injury suffered by senior point guard Hunter Beirne last summer definitely shook up the projected lineup.

Junior Margaux Manalo, who likely would have seen the majority of time as the shooting guard, is taking over at point guard. It’s a position she’s familiar with since she played the position when she was on the junior varsity team and also on her AAU club.

“Last year I was shooting guard, so it’s a big role shift,” Manalo said. “I love playing it. … The key for us is to spread the floor well and move the ball fast because once you move the ball fast, you can get openings.”

Senior Casey Gonzales and freshman Tess Schornack also are expected to see time at point guard.

“We’re going to be a work in progress this year,” Norman said.

The Knights’ lone returning starter is junior center Brooke Erlandsen, who understands the challenges her teammates face in their first season as starters on varsity.

“I really want to be a big encourager this year and I really want it to be a positive environment for all the new girls coming up because it’s really intimidating coming up to varsity,” Erlandsen said.

As a sophomore, Erlandsen found herself going up against seniors, many of whom had the edge in size and strength.

“It was really fun,” she said. “I think I put up a good fight. It was really nice to learn from a lot of the seniors last year and from my teammates as well. I think that helps me grow a lot as a player.”

Junior Sloane Loudenback also saw action coming off the bench.

“Sloane, Brooke and Margaux are going to have to step up the scoring,” Norman said.

The Kamiak coach is counting on Erlandsen and Loudenback, both of whom are 5-foot-10, to step up their inside game.

“Our expectations are for them to really do their best to control the paint, finish inside and make their teammates better,” Norman said.

The Knights also will look to Kendall Carroll, a 5-10 sophomore center, and Rachel Coleman, a 6-0 senior center, for their inside presence.

“She brings some good aggressive rebounding,” Norman said of Carroll. “She plays tough. That’ll help us a lot.”

Coleman tore her ACL two years ago, which caused her to miss her sophomore season. She returned last year on the C team before moving up to junior varsity.

“She’s got some athleticism and aggressiveness,” Norman said. “We can’t discount a little bit of height.”

Junior Jordyn Porea swung from junior varsity and is expected to see a larger role, especially on offense.

“She can score,” Norman said. “She’s a good slasher, attacker. She brings a good energy to our team.”

Bringing all these new players together and becoming a cohesive unit is going to be take some time.

“We’re very young,” Manalo said. “It’s going to be a growing season for us. … Hopefully, we will improve a lot. We just want to play our best. We just want to grow and be as strong as we can as a whole.”

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