Less than a year removed from last season’s difficult campaign that ended with a 4-16 record, members of Mancos High School’s girls basketball team have returned to their practice floor with renewed energy and high hopes.
Leading the way for this year’s Jays’ squad will be senior forward Isis Jaime, who averaged a team-high 7.1 points per game last season while mixing tough play in the paint with solid outside shooting.
Also figuring to play a big role for Mancos will be junior forward Madi Hale, who averaged 6.9 points per game last season and has assumed a leadership role throughout her team’s practices this year.
Other significant contributors for the Jays figure to be junior point guard Tia Imel, who made a name for herself as one of the San Juan Basin League’s top on-the-ball defenders last season.
Senior Kacey Wallace, who did not play basketball last season, and senior Emmalee Asnicar, whose heart and hustle have made her a fan favorite, also figure to play significant minutes for the BlueJays.
“The team is looking pretty good,” Jaime said. “We came a long way since last year, and I think that we can get better and better. We just need more practice, but we’re coming along.”
Figuring to factor significantly into Mancos’ degree of success this season will be the team’s ability to put the ball in the basket and improve on last season’s offensive production that resulted in an average output of 27.3 points per game.
While which BlueJays’ player assumes her team’s lead offensive role remains to be seen, second-year head coach Kerri Morgan has emphasized to her players the importance of shooting the ball when the opportunity presents itself.
“We just need to put it up as much as possible,” Asnicar said. “We all just need to try and score. We kind of struggled with just putting it up last year, so I think it’s something that we all need to have confidence in.”
On the defensive side of the ball, the Jays will utilize a man-to-man scheme that will emphasize on-the-ball pressure and attempt to take advantage of the roster’s above-average speed.
“We are going to run a man-to-man scheme and push (our opponents) hard,” Wallace said. “I think we have a lot of speed on our team this year, and I think that’s going to help us out in the long run.”
After opening their season at the Moffat County Tournament, which will take place in Craig Dec. 5 to 7, the Jays will return home and play in their school’s newly renovated gym for the first time when they face off against Dove Creek on Dec. 10.
“Our goal is to make it out of the district tournament and get into the postseason,” Morgan said.