Sherwood girls are looking to reload
SHERWOOD — The Sherwood High School girls basketball team will have a different look this year.
And it wasn't exactly by design.
The Lady Bowmen lost three key players from last year's squad to graduation. Cami Reuter is now playing basketball at Linfield College, Clare Faber is now playing at Portland Community College and Calahan Crawford is on the track and field team at Washington State University.
But the losses don't stop there.
Junior Grace Gaither, a standout point guard, who was in her second season starting at Sherwood until she injured her knee last year, has moved to Grants Pass. Sophomore post Alaina Clark has moved to Bend.
"Needless to say, we have to retool," Sherwood coach Wes Pappas said.
That said, the Lady Bowmen do look to have players to build around, as they return some key players from last year's team that finished third in the Three Rivers League standings at 11-5, while going 19-6 on the season and reaching the Class 6A state playoffs.
"We have three key contributors back from last year's team," Pappas said.
Among them is senior guard Lauren Scarvie (5-foot-8), who was an honorable mention All-Three Rivers League pick last year. Scarvie will be a starter for the third straight year at Sherwood.
"Lauren Scarvie is a very underrated player," Pappas said. "She can do it all, play defense, handle the ball and she can shoot it. I think she has the potential to have a great senior year."
Sharp-shooting junior guard Aubrie Emmons (5-9) will start for the second straight year.
"Aubrie Emmons has added to her game and is a threat to score from inside and out," Pappas said.
Junior guard Alex Verkamp (5-10), a defensive stopper off the bench last year, moves into the starting lineup this year.
"Alex Verkamp is maturing into and offensive threat to compliment her strong ability to defend," Pappas said.
Scarvie, Emmons and Verkamp will serve as team captains this year.
"We will go as far as Scarvie, Emmons and Verkamp take us," Pappas said.
Sherwood has other returning players who could play prime roles this season.
"Some of the returners to varsity that will be asked to step up into more prominent roles are junior posts Kaytlin Cooke (5-11) and Cali Etherington (5-10)," Pappas said.
Also returning to the Lady Bowmen varsity are sophomore guard Ava Boughey (5-5) and sophomore post/guard Julia Leitzinger (5-9).
"These kids, and a bevvy of newcomers, all have potential and it'll be fun to see who steps up and produces for us," Pappas said.
Other players on the Sherwood varsity roster include freshman post/guard Kylah Williams (5-8), freshman guard Ashley Woody (5-7), junior guard Erin Carillo (5-2), freshman guard Joley Sproul (5-7) and sophomore post Abby Smith (5-7).
"We have nine of 12 varsity players that have never played any meaningful minutes on varsity and so there is definitely going to be a learning curve," Pappas said. "At the same time I feel that we have a lot of younger kids with a lot of potential and we will continue to improve throughout the season. Some of our juniors and sophomores are going to have to step up for us to be successful but I get the feeling that this could happen sooner than later. With only one senior, we've got a ton of potential going forward."
And, with the youth, the few veterans on the team could have a big impact
"I think we have good leadership and solid team speed this year," Pappas said. "Our big question marks will be how we mature over the course of the season."
And, if that happens, the Lady Bowmen could possibly be right in the mix in the Three Rivers League this year.
"The TRL will be tough again this year but I don't think it's quite as stacked as it has been," Pappas said. "Tigard and West Linn clearly have the most talent, and then there are about three or four teams after them that will fight it out for the remaining two automatic playoff spots. We have a ways to go and it's a very unkind league for a team like us that's playing a lot of inexperienced kids. At the same time I get the feeling that we have a group of girls that will go out and compete every night. Some balls will have to bounce our way but I think we can be in a position to knock off some of the favorites in league play. If things really come together it would be great to get one of the four automatic bids but most important for us is to put ourselves in a position to make the playoffs. If we can continue to get better all season and firmly make the playoffs despite our adversity with the unexpected departures we will really be headed in the right direction."
Sherwood opened its season Friday with a 44-32 loss in a non-league game at Beaverton. Emmons led the Lady Bowmen with 17 points in that game. Scarvie added six points.
On Tuesday, Sherwood lost 36-32 in a non-league game at Westview. Scarvie led the team with 10 points in that game, and Cooke added six.
The Lady Bowmen will be back in action on Friday, when they host Franklin in a non-league game starting at 7 p.m. Sherwood will open its Three Rivers League schedule on Monday, when it plays at Tigard at 7 p.m.