Coach looks forward to Tigard girls basketball season
At the very least, it's been an extremely interesting opening season for the Tigard girls basketball team.
The Tigers had to cancel their first game planned Wednesday, May 19, because there weren't enough players, due to the fact 12 girls on the team were just coming off a COVID-19 quarantine, said Tigard varsity coach Heidi DeHaan.
Even Friday's matchup with St. Mary's Academy will mean playing with a limited roster. But that's not what DeHaan was focusing on Wednesday. She had the bigger picture and future of the Tigers in mind.
"The number one thing is we're looking forward to getting a chance to play," she said. "It's one of those things that you always have, maybe taken for granted, especially in the year that we've had, (but we're) thankful to be out there on the court with the girls and I know they're thankful to get to be there too."
DeHaan took over as head coach this year, replacing Mallory Goldammer. But DeHaan has been with the program for the last 15 years, serving as a freshmen and junior varsity coach.
This season, DeHaan said she looking for strong showings from both Ajae Holdman, a senior and four-year varsity player, and junior Sarah Lamet, the team's 6-foot-3 post.
"(I'm) looking for both of those girls to have really good seasons this year and then for some of the younger kids to really start to step up into more kind of contributing roles," she said.
DeHaan said Hardman is not only extremely athletic but is a great team leader as well.
At the same time, she said that Lamet is learning to use her size and has really been putting in the work during the offseason.
"We're just looking for her to have a really good year, as she's developing into one of the top post players around," DeHaan said.
Another returning senior and post is Rachel Denham, whom DeHaan called a really hard worker and a great leader as well.
Dehaan said the team will soon be adding four girls to the roster who are finishing up their season on the softball team.
Playing in one of the toughest leagues in the state, year after year, West Linn and Tualatin will be the teams to beat, DeHaan admits, and there are other good teams the Tigers will go up against as well. Those include Canby and Lakeridge.
The Tigers will play Tualatin on Wednesday, May 26, and will meet up later as well.
"I think it's going to be some great matchups just across the board this season," DeHaan said.
She's also looking forward to a time the girls will no longer have to wear face masks, because trying to breathe and play an intense aerobic sport with a mask on is a challenge. Still, she said she'll continue to do whatever it takes to keeps her players safe.
Meanwhile, DeHaan is looking forward to having the girls play in the 11 games that lie ahead. Having lost several top players last year, the team is in a rebuilding mode, she said, but she believes Tigard will soon build back up its girls basketball legacy and keep the team strong for years to come.
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