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Lady Bowmen look to have it all

Basketball: With a strong group of returnees, Sherwood could contend for NWOC title
by: DAN BROOD, TOUGH INSIDE — Sherwood junior Lauren Codling (right) should be a key returnee for the Lady Bowmen this season. She was a second-team all-league pick last year.

SHERWOOD - Experience.

Motivation.

Talent.

The Sherwood High School girls basketball team seems to have it all. And, with those things going for them, the Lady Bowmen are looking to enjoy plenty of success in the 2007-2008 season.

'It really helps having kids on the team that have played varsity for at least two years,' Sherwood coach Liz Barrett said. 'And we had a good summer. The girls have been working hard and they're ready to go.'

Sherwood has a strong group of returning players from last year's team that had an overall record of 18-9 while placing third in the Northwest Oregon Conference standings at 10-4. Last year's Lady Bowmen squad also came within one game of reaching the Class 5A state tournament as it was edged 54-50 by eventual state champion Willamette in a state playoff contest.

'The girls have been very motivated since that game last year,' Barrett said.

Among the key returning players for Sherwood is senior point guard Alex Francis (5-foot-10), who is in her fourth year on the Lady Bowmen varsity. Last year, as a junior, Francis was a second-team all-league pick.

'She's our leader,' Barrett said of Francis. 'She has an ability to keep us under control. And we're lucky to have a left-handed, 5-foot-10 point guard in her fourth year. She's seen every possible trap there is.'

Also back for Sherwood is junior post Lauren Codling (6-0), who also was a second-team all-league selection last year.

'She's worked hard and has been able to better her skills,' Barrett said. 'I'm waiting for her to go off and score 35 points in a game.'

Sherwood has another top returnee in senior post Brooke Davis (5-10), who was an honorable-mention all-league pick.

'She's just a great athlete,' Barrett said. 'She works so hard and she loves to compete. She's always hustling after every ball.'

The Bowmen have three other key returnees in seniors Melany Boulton (5-5), Jessi Ramp (5-9) and Megan Van Noy (5-8).

'Melany and Jessi will guard the other team's best players,' Barrett said. 'And Megan gives us great minutes and she can really shoot. They're all special in the things they do.'

Freshman post Megan Shields (6-0) could also prove to be a key player for Sherwood, although she's out of action for the next month or so due to an ankle injury.

Junior Kosha Adamson (5-6) will see action at a guard spot. Junior Heather McGee (5-9) will also play some at guard.

Sherwood looked to have another key returnee in junior Brittany Morales (5-10), but it looks like she could possibly miss the entire season due to a knee injury. Still, even with the injuries, the Lady Bowmen look to be strong and deep heading into league play.

'Our strength should be our experience, and I expect us to do a good job on defense,' Barrett said. 'The question for us will be consistency. We have to make sure we play at our level every game.'

As for the Northwest Oregon Conference this year, Barrett sees Wilsonville as the favorite. The Wildcats, who won the league title at 13-1 last year, will be led by senior Melinda Ingalls, who was last year's NWOC Player of the Year.

'And she's improved since then,' Barrett said. 'And they have a lot of good role players. We're hoping to be up there in the top one or two. Wilsonville is at the top of the league, but we hope to compete with them.'

The Lady Bowmen moved to 9-0 on the season by scoring a 72-47 win over Lebanon in a non-league game played Friday at Sherwood. Codling scored 21 points and Davis added 15.