By Steve Tool
Wallowa County Chieftain
Things are looking bright as the Enterprise High School girls run through basketball drills at Quinn Court. Coach Mike Crawford is in his 29th year leading the Outlaws girls. The team has been practicing for two weeks
The program is popular at the school. Crawford has 24 girls out with an even dozen on both the varsity and junior varsity squads. The team lost four seniors to graduation, but Crawford doesn’t look at it as a rebuilding year.
“This year, I’ve got five seniors and three juniors,” he said. “We’re pretty much a veteran group with good experience and team speed and very good athletes. We’ll be very competitive.”
Crawford said he won’t be able to see how the team is different from last year’s squad until he sees them compete, but he’s confident in their abilities.
“We don’t have the same size as we did a year ago,” he said. “I think that we’re every bit as athletic, maybe even more so as a team.”
Crawford noted that the team’s strength and speed are the team’s outstanding qualities.
“Maybe at this moment our weakness is patience, and we’re going to have to figure out how to have some patience, so we can be as good as we can be,” he said. “Some of those things won’t show themselves until you get in a game situation. We’ve got three games this week, and we’ll know more.”
Crawford said that three-time captain and three-year starter Reece Christman will lead the team this year.
“The others are new starters, but they’ve all started some,” he said. “I think that off the bench, Lexie Gassett and Shelby Moncrief will be names to watch.”
The coach pointed to John Day as the team to beat in the league as they didn’t lose a single player, and Imbler, also a league powerhouse, lost a number of starters. He added that most of the league competition is still very tough.
“To go to state, we’ve got to finish in the top two,” he said. “I think that’s doable, and that’s our goal.”
The Outlaws play their first game Wednesday at Wallowa starting at 5 p.m.