PRETTY PRAIRIE, Kan.—With only ten girls on the roster, Pretty Prairie won’t have much depth to its basketball team this season. But along with a dearth of athletes comes a wealth of experience, height and athleticism, giving head coach C.T. Young hope for his squad this winter.
The Lady Bulldogs compiled a 6-14 record a year ago, but they only lost two players to graduation and another to an injury. Plus, they gain a key player who only saw action in seven games before being sidelined with a hurt shoulder.
The Bulldogs will also gain from the senior leadership of returning starter Emily Moore, 5-8.
But it won’t be just the seniors who bring talent and experience to the floor. Six of the players on the Pretty Prairie team all saw significant playing time, most of which started at least one game.
Selena Wapelhorst, a 6-0 junior, stepped up into Hines’ post player role a year ago. She has the height, experience, and as a state qualifier in both cross country and golf earlier this fall, the athletic talent.
Other returning letter winners include junior Shaylee Wewe and sophomores Shanay Wewe and Whitney Grilliot.
“We do have those six who played a lot, plus we have four freshmen,” said Young. “The returning experience will be valuable. After Tiffani got hurt, a lot of girls got experience. We didn’t win all the games, but we were competitive.”
Pretty Prairie faces a tough early season schedule, including larger schools Haven and Remington. Young expects the toughest Heart of the Plains League competition to be in Norwich, Skyline, Central Christian and South Barber.
Young said the Bulldogs’ biggest strength will likely be the ability to defend. The team last year set the school’s defensive scoring record. Their most significant weakness, he added will be scoring effectively and not turning the ball over.
“I feel pretty good about where we’re at,” Young said. “Our freshmen have got to adjust to the speed of the game, but I see them contributing early in the season.”
While Young said he hasn’t talked about goals much, he would like to see the Bulldogs finish the season in the top half of the league and to do well in the post-season.