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|Monterey hoops ready for season|
Monterey's boys look for a return to the Class B playoffs, hoping not to meet up with the eventual state champion in the first round this season.
Monterey fell to Rapides 87-34 in a first round playoff game.
The Mustangs cruised to the state championship, beating Zwolle 69-67 in the title game.
But Monterey head coach Jeffery Odom knows getting back to the playoffs will be a tough task after losing eight seniors.
"It's hard to replace their knowledge," he said. "I didn't have to do a lot of coaching last year."
Odom has one senior in Austin Lipsey.
Juniors are Ross Lipsey, Ethan Cannon, James Davis, Jorge Gonzalez, Andrew Harp, and Cade Crum.
Sophomores are 6-foot-5 center Josh Chapman, Jacob Evans, Shawn McClanahan, Nick Blake and Trey Stone.
There are no freshmen on the team.
"We've got a good junior high bunch and we've got some exciting things going on with our youth," Odom said.
Monterey competed in a league in Florida this past summer, going 5-3. The Wolves lost to Harrisonburg by one point in a scrimmage last week.
"It's just a matter of getting some experience," Odom said. "We run one play and look like we can't be stopped, then on the next play we can't walk or dribble at the same time. We're going to have some growing pains."
Monterey High's girls came close to getting a playoff spot last season. Despite no seniors on the team, Lady Wolves head coach Cary Shively is counting on experience to get his team there this season.
"All of the kids on this team played last year," Shively said."We're young, but we have experience. I'm expecting us to win some ball games this year."
Monterey fell to Epps in a tiebreaker game to decide third place in District 3B and a wild card spot.
Monterey defeated Epps in its final regular season game to force the tiebreaker.
The Lady Wolves have just missed making the playoffs the past two seasons.
"We're not focusing on that, we're just focusing on what we have to do to get better," Shively said. "The kids are working hard in practice and getting better."
Juniors on the team are Brooke Baker and Ariel Hector.
Sophomores are Kristen Lipsey, Kendall Lipsey, Rachel Pecanty.
Freshman are Ellen Bairnsfather and Jordan Pecanty.
Shively has six eighth-graders who could contribute down the road.
"I'm expecting us to be a decent basketball team this year," Shively said. "We're focusing on the fundamentals. The best thing about these girls is that they show up ready to work and they work hard."
Monterey will not play a home game until November. The schedule also includes a home contest in early January against Adams County Christian School of Natchez.
"We're trying to play a few more tournaments," Shively said. "It's just the way it worked out as far as no home games in November. Everything kind of flip-flopped from last year. But it will get us ready for district."
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