Lady Spartans planning to climb the ladder

By Dan Karpiel

The Surveyor

On a metaphorical six-rung ladder of achievement, the Berthoud High School girls basketball team, by their own evaluation, are on step three. The goal for the upcoming season is to climb even higher on that ladder.

“There has been a great standard set for Berthoud girls basketball, and we’re at a good level, but we can go higher,” said new head coach, Alan Gibson, as his team prepared for practice on Tuesday afternoon. “That’s what we’re focusing on; one of our mottos is ‘it’s time to climb.’  We’re sitting on the third rung and we want to climb up to that fourth, fifth and eventually the sixth rung.”

Gibson will replace Randy Earl, who retired following the 2016-17 season after a 14-year run where he compiled 226 wins, won a pair of league titles, and took the Lady Spartans to the postseason 13 times. The bar is set high, and Gibson and his team do not have any doubt they can eclipse the high standards the program has set.

“We have the talent, we have so much talent,” said junior point guard Sydney Meis.

Berthoud will have a somewhat different look on the floor this season. Gibson explained the team will mix in some press and zone looks on defense as opposed to the exclusively man-to-man set the team employed under Earl.

“They’re very athletic. We’re going to try to use our athletic ability and be a bit more of an open-floor team, offensively and defensively, and make sure the other team is always reacting to us rather than the other way around,” Gibson said. “Defensively we want to use the whole floor as much as we can, to try to let our defense be our offense, and have a system offensive that is structured but also allows for some freedom, taking advantage of the girls individual talents.”

Sophomore standout Emily Cavey, who led Berthoud in virtually every statistical category and took home All-Conference honors as a freshman last season, explained it has been a challenge learning the new schemes, but the team has picked things up quickly. “We have some new offenses that we’re learning, and it’s been difficult, but it’s nice because we have these differences and changes and I think it’s going to help us on the court,” Cavey said. “I think together we understand more of the game, instead of getting to know one certain thing really well, we get to learn a lot more and get used to a lot of other things.”

“It takes a lot of basketball knowledge, where to go when a screen comes, it’s something we’ve all been working on a large amount,” Meis explained. “The big challenge is that it’s a new offense, it’s not set in stone … it’s a whole new type of play for us here.”

Both players, as well as Gibson, explained the team has placed an emphasis on building chemistry and closeness and building those intangibles will be invaluable on the court. “We really stress the family atmosphere and playing together, that’s what we stress more than anything. Those are the things that are going to help us climb more than anything,” Gibson said.

The Lady Spartans will begin the season in Denver at a three-game tournament at Manual High School beginning on Nov. 30. Berthoud will return home to host the annual Spartan Classic beginning on Dec. 6.

 

 

 

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