SCHOOLS OF HARDWOOD: Holtville shoots to rebound

Published 11:10am Thursday, November 7, 2013



Head coach: Cortes Mitchell (7th year)
2012-13: Finished last in Class 4A, Area 6
Outlook for 2013-14:
Some teams have size. Some teams have that tall presence in the paint that can block shots and alter others.
This season the Holtville Bulldogs are not one of those teams. But with a smaller lineup, seventh-year head coach Cortes Mitchell thinks he team can burn opponents with an uptempo, fast-paced attack.
“Number one, we don’t have a lot of depth so we’re going to have to rely on our speed and quickness,” Mitchell said. “I think our tallest guy is 6-foot-1. We got a good group of seniors coming back. I feel really good about them.”
The Bulldogs won three of its last five contests to close out last season. Mitchell hopes that enthusiasm and confidence rolls over to the upcoming campaign.
“We’ve been making really good slow progress every year, I hope we can continue on,” the coach said. “We finished out pretty strong last year, I hope it continues on to this year. Like I said, this is a good group of seniors, so hopefully leadership and experience can help us out this upcoming season.
“I just hope that we can get better with every game. Continue to play team ball, and just get better. Like I said, just get better as a group.”
Early in preseason practice, Mitchell feels good about the group he’s got for 2013-14.
“I feel the guys are really excited about the upcoming season,” he said. “I can tell they worked hard this offseason. I feel like it’s going to carry over to the season. We might start out a little slow, but I think before end of the season, we’ll should have it together.”

Player to Watch in 2013-14:
By committee
“I don’t think we have a standout player, I think they all work well together. We’ll be a lot more team-oriented, we don’t have a star player, but this is good group and I like and I feel pretty good about this group.”

Head coach: Emily Sneed (2nd year)
2012-13: Finished last in Class 4A, Area 6
Outlook for 2013-14:
This season for the Holtville Lady Bulldogs will be all about the basics. Second-year head coach Emily Sneed lost six players off of last year’s team, five graduates and one transfer. With nearly a whole new, younger cast on the court, simplicity is key for the Lady Dawgs.
“We’re focusing on little things,” the coach said. “We can’t be taller and we can’t be bigger. We’re trying to work on basics, keeping everything really simple because, like I said, they’re so young. I’ve got more players out here that have never played than that have. We’re pretty much starting from scratch.”
Sneed said improvement for her girls starts by gaining experience of playing against people that don’t know in a game atmosphere.


“As far as goals, we’re looking to get better as a group and we’re looking toward to future,” she said. “Everybody will be back except for one. It’s not that we’re not looking to this year, we are, we have some very winnable games. But the biggest thing for us is to get some experience under these girls belts. And that’s the biggest hurdle. Anybody can dribble out here in practice, anybody can make shot here at practice, it’s when you get those nerves and emotions involved, that’s going to be where we grow the most, is learning to manage the intensity and the adrenaline of the game. This year, I’ll get a better idea of what they need just by watching them play.”

Player to Watch in 2013-14:
Kelci Davis, PG, Jr.
“She was out last year, she had a real bad hip flexor, hamstring tear, so she was out all season, she played like two games. She’s going to be replacing our point guard, which will be a new position for her. But she’s a great athlete, a phenomenal dribbler, she’s got a lot of speed, she’ll score a lot of points for us.”

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