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Grant's new girls basketball coach plans team-building trip

Grant High's new girls basketball coach says her players need to get together.

To that end, Missy Smith has a plan. It starts with a day trip Monday to Silver Falls State Park, where the varsity players will, she hopes, get to know one another better. Smith has hired a communications expert to help make it a 'team building experience.'

The players also will go on a hike and do some outdoor activities.

'The girls seem like they're all kind of on a different page,' Smith says, 'so we're going to do things to improve our trust and communication.'

Smith got the Grant job after one year as freshman coach at Wilson under varsity coach Kendra Gardner. Smith replaces Margaret Calvert, who recently gave birth to twins.

Smith is a veteran in two sports. A graduate of Forest Grove High, she played basketball and softball at Oregon State, then launched her coaching career. She spent 10 years at Lewis and Clark College, coaching softball and basketball at different times, and both during three school years, before leaving in 2004.

Grant has seven seniors returning from a basketball team that went 9-9 last season and hasn't made the state playoffs since 2003-04. The senior crop includes 5-7 wing Jessica Musgrave, who was named to the all-PIL second team after last season; honorable mention post Josephine Young, 6-1; and 5-10 post Danielle Farmer, the PIL tennis champion in girls singles.

'They definitely have the talent,' Smith says. 'If they can believe and work hard, they can finish their high school careers on a high note.'

A couple of juniors, Jennifer Husband and Christine Jones, also could make an impact on the varsity this season, Smith says.