Neah-Kah-Nie’s girls basketball team has talent.
It has some height.
By Brad Mosher
But, the biggest problem the team faces this season is its inexperience, according to coach Corey Douma.
He admits they have a good number of students out for the team, more than 20. However, he has only a short time to get the players working together before they open the season in Astoria at a jamboree.
The team will need to learn the lessons at the jamboree quickly, with Waldport traveling to Rockaway Beach a day later to open the season.
The Pirates lost some key personnel over the summer, but they still have almost a half-dozen returnees who have played at the varsity level.
“We are still young, in a way. We have quite a few juniors, but we have to get more experience at the varsity level,” the coach said.
“Every practice is learning and every game is going to be learning. I’m just glad we have got a few more practices before our first game because we still have got a lot to go over.”
Maddie Lambert is returning for her senior season. “She is our top returnee from last year’s team,” the coach said.
He also has Esmerelda Ramirez back, giving him a couple of veterans who logged lots of playing time last season.
Six-footer Mara Soans gives the Pirates some height.
The season opener against Waldport will be the only home contest for the Lady Pirates for the first three weeks of the season. It will not be until Dec. 20 that the team will be again in Rockaway Beach playing Sheridan in a non-league contest.
In between, the squad will travel to Warrenton (Dec. 7), to Riverdale to play Scio in the Riverdale tournament (Dec. 8), then open up Northwest League play at City Christian (Dec. 14) and Vernonia (Dec. 16).
According to Douma, who also is the athletic director at Neah-Kah-Nie, Faith Bible should be considered the favorite this year in the Northwest League.
“Vernonia is always tough, too,” he added.
The coach has a goal of making the playoffs, something last year’s squad barely missed.
“We want to play one more game,” he said.
If they make league playoffs this season, they’ll also start looking at state, he said.