The Mountain Home Lady Tigers open their 2012-13 girls basketball season this weekend with non-conference games against 5A foes Timberline and Eagle.
After a week of practice, Mountain Home girls basketball coach Brent Keener was liking what he has seen from his Lady Tigers.
"I've been very pleased. We're just a few days into it, but the girls have been working very hard, which is always good. The effort's been there -- it's a little sloppy at times, but that's to be expected -- it's the beginning of the season with lots of new girls and lots of new faces trying to mesh together. The nice thing was most of these girls played together during the summer, so that helped. We continued to get better in the summer, towards the end of the summer."
Coach Keener has six players back from last year's squad that went 8-15 overall. Teresa Fredell was second in the team in scoring last year as a sophomore, averaging 6.0 points a game, and led the team in three-point shots. Marissa Streeter was fourth in scoring on the team last year, with 105 points. Selena Foster scored 79 points last year as a sophomore, and was the third leading rebounder, averaging over four a game.
Tessa Pachner returns as a 5-foot, ll-inch senior, and should provide some scoring and rebounding inside. Madi Karst and Emma Wenger split time between the JV and varsity last year, and should step up nicely, Keener said.
Jacci Cristobal, who saw considerable playing time as a freshman, but missed all of last season due to a knee injury, is back and should contribute a lot.
Mattie Bennett, Whitney Sandberg, C.J. Bish and Missy Jessup are among the sophomores coming up from last year's JV squad that should also contribute to the team's success, along with juniors Tracey Gordon and Morgan Vivier, both up off the sophomore squad.
Coach Keener is anxious to get the season under way, and he sees this weekend's games with Timberline and Eagle as a good early test for his Lady Tigers squad.
"Timberline I think has lost a few girls, but they're going to have some athletes. Eagle's got some talent," he said. "They're a typical Eagle team -- athletic and they've got some size. These two games will be a good test to see where we are early."
The Lady Tigers open the season Friday night in Lloyd Schiller Gymnasium. The fresh-soph game will kick off the night's action at 4:30 p.m., the JV game around 6 p.m., and the varsity slated for 7:30 p.m.
Saturday's games at Eagle start with the frosh-soph game at 11 a.m. with the JV game around 12:30 p.m. and the varsity contest around 2 p.m.