Girls basketball: Bucs face difficulties early on

Players go through drills in the Kingston High School Gymnasium on Nov. 29. The team
Players go through drills in the Kingston High School Gymnasium on Nov. 29. The team's practice time before its first game was reduced by three days because of school cancellations.
— image credit: Brad Camp/For the Herald

With its top scoring player benched for an undetermined time, the Kingston Buccaneers girls basketball team must find strength in other players.

Junior Sophia Baetz is out with a torn ACL, an injury suffered during summer basketball camp. Though she suits up with the rest of the team, Baetz doesn’t know when she will be back on the court.

“Not being able to participate in practice is already hard, but sitting out for games will be the hardest part of my rehabilitation,” said Baetz, who scored 217 points in 2009.

With Baetz out, head coach Penny Gienger must find players to fill the gap in the team’s offense. Gienger also wants the team to play a tougher defense and shoot more in general.

“We’re going to be trying to fill the 20 points we lose with having Sophia out,” Gienger said.

Despite Baetz’s injury and losing three graduating seniors from last year, Kingston still boasts strong players, Gienger said. The varsity team includes returning players Julie Gore, Maggie Snaza and Elsa Brown. Gienger said incoming varsity players, such as Mirra Matheson and Sarah McMullen, are also showing their potential.

The Bucs ended with an overall record of 17-8 and an Olympic League record of 10-2. The team also went to the state tournament last year, where they were defeated by the Squalicum Storm.

The team started slow this season, canceling three practices last week due to the weather.

The team typically has the starting line up set before Thanksgiving and having to go into the first games with fewer practices may cause problems. Gienger said she will use the team’s first game on Tuesday to determine what changes she needs to make.

The Bucs play their first away game against Enumclaw High School on Nov. 30 and play their second game against Port Angeles. Port Angeles is one of the most difficult opponents in the League and Gienger said it will be an interesting match.

It will be a tough test for a team already facing adversity in its season, but junior Lindsey Wicklein said her teammates are preparing well.

“I think we’re ready and we work really well together,” Wicklein said. “We are just going to have to feel it out.”

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