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Murray Journal

Cottonwood Girls Basketball Team Progressing

Feb 13, 2015 05:57PM ● By Catherine Garrett

The Cottonwood High girls basketball team hopes to return to the 5A state tournament for the sixth time in seven years.

The Cottonwood High girls basketball team graduated six seniors from last year’s 13-8 squad and returned just two varsity players for the 2014-15 season. This year, the Colts have a 9-11 record and are in  fourth place in the Region 2 standings.

“We’re doing pretty good,” said head coach Janae Hirschi, who is in her seventh year. “I’m proud of our kids and pretty happy with where we’re at.”

Hirschi has led Cottonwood to a winning record the past six seasons, and her squads have gone to state every year except 2012, including a state quarterfinal appearance in 2011 in which they lost to eventual state runner-up Syracuse 40-31. Last year’s team won the region title, which Hirschi said was “huge” for her program.

“We don’t have the numbers and money, so the odds really are all against us where progress is success for us,” she said. “But the kids we have are great kids, and it’s amazing how hard they work on the fundamentals and defense. That’s the only way we can ever compete.”

Cottonwood is led in scoring by senior forward Andrea Brady with 17 points a game, while senior guard Nicole Khristensen averages 12 points a contest. Khristensen is also the team’s leading three-point scorer with 28 made on the year.

Senior guard Noa Sofele (five points) and junior guard Jessica Debry (four points) also contribute offensively for the Colts.

This season, Cottonwood defeated Provo (47-33) Nov. 19, Payson (49-32) Nov. 25, Highland (56-55) Dec. 2, Corner Canyon (39-26) Dec. 10, East (38-30) Dec. 17, West (46-42) Jan. 6, Hillcrest (45-36) Jan. 9 and Jan. 23 (48-44) and Taylorsville (56-45) Jan. 13, while losing to Clearfield (56-43) Nov. 21, Olympus (45-38) Dec. 5, Layton (60-22) Dec. 12, Herriman (47-42) Dec. 16, Jordan (51-27) Jan. 2, Granger (34-32) Jan. 16, Hunter (38-30) Jan. 20, West (49-46) Jan. 27, Granger (41-38) Jan. 30, Taylorsville (53-38) Feb. 3 and Hunter (47-36) Feb. 6.

 The 5A state tournament is scheduled for Feb. 16-21 at Salt Lake Community College.Also on the team this year are seniors Elizabeth Ibanez, Megan Shields and Noa Sofele; juniors Bailey Bartholomew, Jeanne D’arc Hosea, Jessica Debry, Malone Everett, Serena Hardy, Tiana Matua-Sekona and AJ Tapaatoutai; sophomores Isamar Guzman, Brooke Hintze, Natalie Lovelady, Aimee Preece, Veronika Rimer and Christine Ruoti; and freshman Jasmine Fleming.

Hirschi is assisted on the coaching staff by Shalee Speredon, Jessie Smith, Nicole Lynch, Melissa Ingram, Jennifer Buskus and Angie Schwartz.