An offseason removed from the best run in school history, Bothell High girls basketball Kent Schaefer has some big chess moves to make.
The Cougars won the KingCo Conference and made the state semifinals last winter, losing to Snohomish and finishing fifth overall.
Post Taya Corosdale was selected to the Associated Press all-state team as an honorable mention after winning the conference MVP nod. Guard Keyonna Jones was a first-team All-KingCo selection, and the pair highlight a small but dangerous returning corps of players.
“Expectations for those two are high, and they’ve delivered so far,” Schaefer said. “They’re leaders on our team and their skills and basketball capabilities are top notch. They work hard and they’re not afraid to step up and put their teammates on their shoulders and carry everyone along with them when they need to.”
Corosdale, a dominant force at 6-foot-2, has already comitted to play at Oregon State University. The senior was a preseason AP first-team all-state selection, and put up 17 points and nine rebounds through the first four games this year — all wins.
Jones, listed at 5-foot-8, has comitted to play at Western Oregon and leads the team in scoring with 21.3 points per game, including a 30-point performance on Dec. 3.
Shaefer didn’t immediately jump to any predictions of Bothell holding a trophy at the end of the year, but he didn’t neccesarily shoot down the idea, either.
“We did win KingCo last year, and that was quite an honor given our league and how hard it is,” Shaefer said. “We would definitely like to compete there and make it happen again, but the league is tougher this year. THere are a lot of schools with a lot of good players back, and we have to get better than we are right now in order to do that.”
Bothell’s returning players should be the bread and butter this season, but it’s the unknowns that will make Bothell a contender. The Cougars have several big roles to fill having lost seven seniors and several starters from last season’s squad.
Perhaps the biggest addition is that of sophomore Kelsey Hudson, a versatile 5-foot-11 talent which has made a big jump from the JV ranks.
“We’re asking her to do a lot relative to what she did as a freshman,” Shaefer said. “We’re really pleased with how she’s doing. She had 19 points [on Dec. 6] against Skyline and looked really good. She was a little nervous in her first game of the season against West Seattle, but she’s made progress each game.”
Junior Emily Gibson steps in at point guard for Erin Burns and would likely have seen more of the floor last winter if not for a stacked group of seniors ahead of her.
Sydney Cowan has seen the starting lineup throughout the last several years and can expect the most consistent playing time of her career. Shaefer also expects a defensive presence from sophomore Jayda Dixon, who moves up from the JV squad.
The Cougars also have a pair of transfers that are likely to make an impact. Sophomore Jada Romulus played in North Carolina last year, and is a strong ball handler and energy player. Senior Dakota Laut transferred from Shorewood High School and will add to the Cougars’ strength around the basket.