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Basketball team will feature one returning starter from last year

Last season, the Glencoe girls basketball team tied with Tigard as co-champions in the Pacific Conference. With a 12-2 league record (20-8 overall), it was the first time Glencoe had won a girls league championship in 17 years.

The Crimson Tide did not stop there, though. Glencoe went on to make it all the way to the OSAA Class 6A quarterfinals.

The Crimson Tide’s time at the Rose Garden was short. Glencoe lost its opening game to South Medford, 62-50, then was eliminated with a 53-46 loss to St. Mary’s Academy in the consolation round.

Still, it was an amazing accomplishment for the team.

“It started with a good core group of girls,” Glencoe coach Dylan Hettrich says. “We had seven seniors and they had been playing together since fifth grade. They just jelled so well together.

“We put some schemes in offensively and defensively that we thought would fit them really well and they all bought in and took to them really well.”

With those seven seniors — including four starters — gone from the roster, though, the Crimson Tide is almost an entirely different team this season.

“Our center, Marly Anderson, is coming back,” Hettrich says. “We have three seniors this year. One of them was a swinger, one of them played JV and then we have a junior this year in Courtney Clayton who was kind of our seventh man last year.

“We really only have two varsity kids, one actually coming back with some big-time game experience in Marly. It’s pretty much a whole new team this year.”

Fortunately for the Crimson Tide, Anderson is one of the premiere post players in the state.

Hettrich has marveled at the way the 6-foot-3 Anderson, who recently signed a letter of intent to play college basketball at Eastern Washington, has grown since her freshman season.

“I first got to Glencoe when Marly was a freshman, so I’ve really gotten to see her grow,” Hettrich says. “She’s come full circle from where she was as a freshman. She’s in completely better condition, her skills have gotten better, her shot has gotten better. She’s really put in a lot of work. She played with her traveling team all summer, she played with us during the fall.

“She’s out there leading us in sprints. If someone had told me when she was a freshman or a sophomore that she would be out leading us in our sprints I’d say they have no idea what they’re talking about. It’s just nice to see how much she’s grown and how much she’s really stepped into a leadership role this year.”

Hettrich says that Anderson is ready for defenses to employ game plans with the specific design of trying to shut her down.

“Even though she was a pretty dominant force last year, she really had a good core supporting cast,” Hettrich says. “She’s kind of seized that this year and knows that she’s going to be the focal point of most defenses that we see. She’s really kind of taken that role and upped her level of athleticism and conditioning.”

Anderson also has skills to match her size and athletic ability.

“There’s not a whole lot of girls who are 6-3 and can step out and shoot like she can and play down low and have the physical presence she has and have the athleticism she has,” Hettrich says.

Other than Anderson, the rest of Glencoe’s team will be very young. Hettrich expects to have at least six and maybe even seven sophomores on the varsity squad. However, with the Crimson Tide’s program producing stellar freshman and junior varsity teams last year, the outlook for the varsity is still positive.

“It’s going to take a little bit more time this year as we’ve noticed in our pre-season practices,” Hettrich says. “It’s a big learning curve. We’ve kind of had to take a step back. But, they’re taking to it well.

“What a lot of people don’t know is that our JV team was 20-1 last year and our freshman team was 22-1. It’s not that we don’t have anybody to fill these spots. It’s that we have a big learning curve with these younger kids.”

One of the positives that Hettrich likes about his team is the speed of the wings.

“We have some speed on the outside,” Hettrich says. “We have some wings who can really get out and fly. We have some improved ball-handling this year. We have two or three girls who can handle the ball.”

The Crimson Tide’s team may look very different than it did a year ago. But, Hettrich says that the team’s goals will be the same.

“You want to get to the state title every year, but realistically, we start with really wanting to win the league title again,” Hettrich says. “We’d love to win our league. That would be a big, huge accomplishment for us.

“Then we’d love to get back to the Rose Garden again. The girls had such a great experience and just absolutely loved it. We’d probably have to upset someone to get there, but our goal is that we’d love to have the league title and then maybe surprise somebody and get back to the Rose Garden again.”

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