By Ray Hamill — The Corsairs came out of the starting gates with plenty of energy this week, as they tipped off the new women’s basketball season.
And, according to head coach Jain Tuey, this year’s team should feature a balanced lineup with some decent depth.
“I think it’s just a well-rounded group,” Tuey said. “I don’t feel we’re missing any elements.”
There’s also a strong local presence on the team, with several former H-DNL standouts on the roster, including a talented group of newcomers.
It all starts, however, with the four returning sophomores, who have been setting the early tone.
In particular, Arcata’s Breesia Northern impressed in Tuesday’s opener, a 77-71 home win over Simpson JV, and has been displaying a lot of leadership, the coach says.
“It’s a great group,” Tuey said of the returning players, who also include Fortuna’s Darienne Kartes, St. Bernard’s Abiona Katri, and Mikaela Arnold of Six Rivers Charter School. “The sophomores really figured out last year what it’s going to take for them to be successful and for us to be successful. They’re fired up and ready to play.”
Northern is the starting point guard, with former Arcata standout Ashley Quigley playing at the two position and getting the season off to a flying start with 26 points on Tuesday after sitting out last year.
“She decided that she missed basketball and wanted to play,” Tuey said of the 2017 Tigers graduate. “She’s very consistent, very poised and just has a high basketball IQ.”
Kartes, a former Fortuna standout, will play as a third guard, giving the Corsairs some good size at the position, while Del Norte’s Denise Horton will start in the post, with Katri at power forward.
Tuey said Kartes “is really stepping up as a sophomore and leader.”
Former South Fork player Brianna Alvara also joins the team this year, and will give Tuey some height off the bench and a presence in the paint, while McKinleyville’s Theresia Dickey will add some intensity, especially on defense.
“She’s got that fiery energy,” Tuey said of the former Panther. “She’s going to go after it.”
Brianna Green, who joins the team from Florida, is another player Tuey is expecting to play a big role off the bench.
As for Tuesday’s win, Tuey liked a lot of what she saw.
“They looked pretty good,” the coach said. “We obviously have some kinks we have to work on, but I felt we played as a collective group, with a lot of energy.”