Central girls up to challenge
Warriors not shying away from state's best
The Central High School girls basketball team wants to be considered as a top team in Class 5A.
To do that, the Warriors are following up last season’s Great 8 appearance by testing themselves with a knock-down, drag-out schedule.
The Warriors begin the season with the Fruita Monument tournament where they will see another Great 8 team, ThunderRidge.
In the Heritage Hoopla Tournament, the Warriors play a Sweet 16 team, Denver East. And after dropping the Farmington, N.M., tournament from the schedule, the Warriors added arguably one of the top tournaments in the state, the Regis Tournament.
Central’s first game in that tournament is against Monarch, which made it to the championship game last season.
“We are playing in three tough tournaments,” Central head coach Todd Dixon said. “I hope we get challenged to the maximum so that if we see teams like that at state, we aren’t shell-shocked. If we can compete early, we will build our confidence.”
This is a Central team that isn’t meek or timid by any means. The Warriors are led again by University of San Diego signee Amy Kame. The senior is heading into her fourth year of starting, and coming off a year in which she averaged 23 points per game. Kame will do a little bit of everything this season.
“Amy will play one through five,” Dixon said. “We will post her up and just try to look for mismatches. There is a lot on that young lady’s shoulders.”
Kame won’t have to do it alone. The Warriors return starters Haleigh Higgins, Stacey Kinnett and Maddi Vana. The only major loss from last season is graduated point guard Karen Hayter. Dixon said the Warriors are still looking for the right combination to fill her role.
“We may have to platoon a little,” Dixon said. “We are building Brittany Hoppe for that spot, and she’s still got some learning to do.”
With the experience the Warriors gained from last season, there’s an aura of excitement in Central’s gym.
“Making the Great 8 really set our goal for this year,” Kinnett said. “This is probably the most excited we’ve been for a season.”