By Ray Hamill — The Eureka girls basketball team returned to the practice court this week, with the season opener just over two weeks away.
And, according to head coach Michael Harvey, the Loggers are coming off a very productive offseason.
“I’m really happy with their offseason program,” he said. “Several of them did extensive work.”
The Loggers have around 45 girls trying out for the three teams, which Harvey says is slightly up from last season, particularly with a freshmen class of 21 girls, up from 13 last year.
Harvey and his coaches expect to make final cuts on Thursday or Friday.
And fans can expect a bit of a different look from the Loggers, at least in terms of style.
“We expect to be more of a running team this season based on personnel,” the second-year head coach said. “And to play a lot more up-tempo than last season.”
Fans can also expect to see more North Coast Section Division-III teams on the schedule, with an eye on building a better resume for the NCS playoffs.
The Loggers open on the weekend of November 22 with back-to-back road games at Hercules and Pinole Valley, both D-III teams.
The Loggers also open next month’s Piner tournament against D-III Maria Carrillo, and all of these games will mean more in terms of NCS seedings, as well as better preparing the Loggers for the Big 5.
And the head coach is expecting a battle in conference play.
“I’m excited about this season,” he said. “(The Big 5) is going to be flat out competitive and I think it’s wide open.”
Harvey is also confident he will have plenty of players that can give him a lot of quality minutes, something that will help the up-tempo game.
“Honestly, I think we’re going to be deep,” he said.
Carly Boynton, in particular, is coming off a very impressive offseason, as is Kellina Pratton and Sophia Chalmers, the latter of whom has had a couple of strong early practice sessions.
Harvey is still missing some starters who will be playing soccer at least through this weekend and possibly another week after that.