Sports

Sequim girls hope to continue playoff run with 3 returnees, recruits

Does exuberance top experience?

Sequim coach Lisa Corbit is banking on it.

After losing six of her top varsity players from the 2007-2008 team that took third in the Olympic League 2A ranks and was just two wins from returning to the state playoffs, the second-year coach is rebuilding a team with players who seem to have more camaraderie than court time.

"Our personnel has changed drastically, so the returners are learning just as much as the newcomers," Corbit said. "We are focusing on the positives and building our team from that."

Three returning varsity players lead a young group of relatively unchallenged players into the fray of Olympic League competition.

With the graduation of Laine Briggs, Kelsey Langston and Sarah Moores, senior Yela Minor takes over Sequim's primary post position. At 5 foot 10 inches, Minor is the Wolves' tallest player and figures to take on opposing posts nightly.

At 5 feet even, fellow senior Sunma Agostine is the Wolves' shortest player. Despite recovering from an ankle injury coming off the fall soccer season, Agostine is the spark plug point guard to run the Wolves' offense.

"She is a tough player with lots of hustle and determination to do things right," Corbit said.

The third returnee is Lauryn Garrett, who moved up from junior varsity late in the year to add a boost off the bench.

"Lauryn is our dynamo on the court," Corbit said. "She can out-hustle everyone and always seems to be a step ahead of the opponent."

Making the move up from junior varsity are five players who figure to get plenty of court time this year. Corbit says senior Kathryn Roeber, a 5-foot-5-inch forward, has worked with a coach one-on-one in the off-season and should be a player to watch this winter.

Persephone Nelson, a 5-foot-8-inch senior, is a key asset to Corbit's young team to relieve Minor in the post and do little things to help the team win.

Lea Hopson is a 5-foot-3-inch sophomore guard whom Corbit says is fearless, giving the Wolves much needed depth at the guard position.

Senior Beverly Buck and junior Katrina Ignagni are 5-foot-7-inch forwards who provide the Wolves with more height in the front court. Buck is out with a knee injury she sustained in a preseason scrimmage and will be out until January.

New to the team this year is Nicole Phifer, a 5-foot-5-inch forward from Marysville whom Corbit says is a defensive stopper.

Other players who may swing up from the junior varsity squad include Alex Rose-Albert, Christy Ruiz, Lindsey Soha and Hannah Stephens.

Through the first few practices of this preseason, Corbit is staying as positive as her young charges.

"Everything that we lack as a team has become moot these first two weeks," she said, "because they are so excited about what they do have."

The Wolves face Klahowya at home Dec. 5 to start the season; twice last season, Sequim beat the Eagles by 30-plus points.

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