Even though the team had a sub-five hundred record, at 9-13, the Panthers went on to win a playoff game, which McHenry noted, was the team’s goal.
“This year’s goal is to take it one step further,” McHenry said. “We want to make it to the sweet sixteen.”
After graduating a handful of seniors, including two of the team’s top three scorers, McHenry expects to “reload” with six or seven seniors this season.
Senior point guard Kiselya Plewe will be the primary ball-handler and senior Kelsie Ralstin will hold things down in the middle, but the third year coach sees every player as a contributor.
Gabby Wolf is new to the team, but as a soccer player, she has great footwork, making her an effective defender.
The Panthers have been stressing the importance of breaking a press and preparing mentally, and McHenry plans to utilize the team’s quickness by pressuring opponents.
“Uptempo, absolutely,” he said when asked what kind of style he was planning to play. “That’s what the rest of our league is, so if we don’t practice it ourselves then when we see it we’ll be in shell-shock. That’s kind of where we were last year, we just couldn’t handle that press all the time.”
After scrimmaging with Dolores and Mancos on Saturday, the Panthers’ first real action will come at the Meeker Tournament, Dec. 3-5.