By Jeremy McDonald
SCIO, Ore.– As they enter the Thanksgiving break and a few days off before gearing back up for their first game against St. Paul on the road on Thursday, the Scio Girls Basketball team were listening to new Head Coach Dave Stover reminding them to stay active during their time off so the progress they’ve made wouldn’t be for nothing.
Stover, who was the Scio Middle School coach last year, came up with his eighth graders this year and is taking over a Lady Logger program that found themselves a basket away from the Field of 16 two years ago.
For the freshman, it’s nice to see such a familiar face coming up with them this season and to show the returners the passion that they saw out of Stover that they saw last season as eighth graders.
“I don’t think they know how passionate he is about coach, and he all he does is help kids with basketball and the upperclassmen didn’t get to experience that like we did at an young age so they are now,” said Olivia Betty.
Stover was vocal last season with the eighth graders last season at Scio Middle School in wanting to run his system like a High School program. He didn’t want to hide anything from the girls he coached last season for when they enter the High School level regardless if it was this season like with the five freshman this year. Next year for when Carrie Jones, who’s now an eighth-grader, when she arrives next year with her class and so on.
But for the returners like Ashlynne Ziebert, who was a freshman last season, described the differences between Coach Jim White’s system from last season to Coach Stover’s this season while showing confidence behind Coach Stover’s system entering this season.
“It’s a way different style of coaching that with Coach White it was more passing and cutting, passing and cuting and that all it was . With Coach Stover it’s a lot different in a way that everyone is always moving and everyone has a job whether it’s a different job each time.” Said Ziebert. “But everyone has something to do. So when you’re not doing something you know that your doing something wrong and you can ask him and he’ll explain to you how he wants it done.
“And the offense that we run this year, it’s a offense that can’t be defended. It’s not going to be the same every time and it’s something that the defense is going to be able to read every time and he’s been working really hard to understand that when your playing this offense your going to continuously move the ball around because the defense won’t be understand where it’s going and they won’t be able to defend you because it’s not as predictable.”
Stover knows how young this team is in only having one Senior in Valerie Clouse, but understands how athletic they are as they prepare for what is called in a way the ‘Murder’s Row’ league with Blanchet Catholic, Salem Academy, Amity, Yamhill-Carlton and Dayton as they prepare for the season ahead as they kick-off the season next Thursday versus St. Paul.
That includes taking a few steps back, understanding the game, understanding the voice with the new terms involving the system. And with the break allows Stover to look over film to see what they can improve upon as their first game coming up here in just a few days.
“I’m really excited with the talent level that we have, it’s just now bringing their basketball acumen to the next level,” starts Stover. “We’re trying to teach them how to play loose and play free and take what the defense is going to give you instead of running a set play every, single time.”
The Loggers expect a sophomore-heavy line-up this season for how heavy they are with the underclassmen this season, but Stover hopes nothing more than improvement over the win-loss record because of how young they are with how Senior/Upperclass-heavy teams like the Cavaliers and Crusaders are this season.
“I don’t want to base our success off of wins and losses. Not yet. First-year Head Coach, A lot of new players trying to get use to what we’re doing. I’ll base our success off of more improving throughout the year and I feel no shame in losing if you lose the right way,” said Stover.
“If you play hard and you get beat because it’s a better team, I’m ok with that. It’s not by choice, but there’s somethings that take away from losing to a good ball club. You can revert back to tape and what things they did well and what we didn’t do well and how we can improve to get to their level.”
With their stack league though, Stover admits that there’s unlimited opportunities to learn and see what they can do as a program to be one of those type teams. There’s belief to get there, it just going to take time for when they tip it off against the Lady Buckaroos and Santiam Christian at the end of this upcoming week.