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2010-11 AV-CTL Division III and IV Girls Basketball Preview
January 31, 2011VYPE MAGAZINE - Central Kansas
The league title won't be a foregone conclusion for Collegiate in their first season in the AV-CTL, though Collegiate's Woods and Circle's Ehm should duke out for it
By Taylor Eldridge
Under coach Terrence Phox, the Collegiate girls basketball program has won the league championship every season. Since Phox arrived four seasons ago, Collegiate overwhelmed foes in the Mid-Central Activities Association.
With the MCAA disbanded and re-formed as the Central Kansas League without Collegiate, the Spartans fell into Division IV of the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League. Phox says Collegiate finds itself in a new position.
"Well, it's been a long time since this program has been the underdogs," Phox says. "We've always been the target."
Collegiate actually may still be the favorite in the league. Rose Hill, last year's league champion, moved up to Division III. But Phox and the rest of the league has bestowed Circle the preseason favorite.
Maize South also replaces Kingman in Division IV, but Circle coach Brian Henry says that even tough the teams shuffled around, the competition level will remain high.
"It makes our division a little bit tougher [with Collegiate], but we were already a tough division before. I think it's just loaded now."
Circle and Collegiate are at the top of the league because they have two best players - Circle's Kyrstie Ehm and Collegiate's Ashia Woods, a K-State commit.
Both present match-up nightmares for opposing teams.
"I'm not quite sure what we're going to do," Clearwater coach Chuck Reitberger says of guarding Ehm and Woods. "Every night we're going to see somebody that's going to be really difficult to stop."
Wellington, which shocked Rose Hill last season in sub-state, also showed an ability to score. Dani Anderson, who made 60 three-point shots in 2009-10 as a sophomore, returns as one of the top scorers in the league. No one can look past the Crusaders this season.
Even for Andale, a program that prides itself on gritty defense and rebounding, the duo presents problems.
"You know you're going to have to find someone to guard those talented people," Andale coach Mark Kerschen says. "They'll have some work cut out for them. [Woods and Ehm] are going to present some problems."
Circle has the best foundation returning, with Ehm, post Hanna Flaming and point guard Charity Hon. Those three will be seniors and make Circle the presumed favorite.
Not far behind is Collegiate, which will have Woods and guards Kati Broberg and Tiffany Massey. But the Spartans lost five key seniors from last season and will rely on unproven talent in the post. Phox is optimistic about the newcomers.
"There are some unknowns that we have," he admits. "If teams feel like they want to focus all of their attention to stopping Ashia, I still think we're going to put ourselves in a situation to be successful," Phox says.
After the top two teams, the order is a little more fluid.
Andale has a reputation of being solid year-in, year-out. With the loss of three key seniors, defense again will be the focus. Maize South is still short on experience after a one-win season in its inaugural year. Clearwater lost its three best players and will depend on defense while they search for new scorers.
Circle is the only team in the division which qualified for state last season. The Thunderbirds will be strong contenders to return to the Class 4A tournament, while Collegiate will also push for a Class 3A bid after being upset by Garden Plain at sub-state in 2009-10.
"[The league] is going to be competitive night to night," says Henry. "If you take a night off, then you're probably going home with a loss.
ARK VALLEY-CHISHOLM TRAIL DIVISION III
ARK VALLEY-CHISHOLM TRAIL DIVISION IV
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Collegiate at Circle, Jan. 11
Rose Hill at Circle, Jan. 21