Girls basketball teams at Rigby, Ririe and West Jefferson are all young this year, but coaches have high hopes for their players.
In Rigby, Coach Troy Shippen said their eyes are set on another conference win this season.
The 2019 High Country Conference champions lost a number of talented seniors with the graduating class of 2019. Going into the 2019-20 year, Coach Troy Shippen said junior Tylie Jones and senior Ruby Murdoch are the most experienced players on the team. He said the team may be young, but said they hope to take another conference win and make it to state again.
“Our chemistry is pretty good … It’s a good group of girls on and off the floor,” he said.
The team has played six games since beginning its season Nov. 19, and won four of them.
Most of Rigby’s games throughout the season are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The Trojans’ next game is at home and is scheduled for tonight against Thunder Ridge. The team will have another game Friday against Madison.
Ririe also experienced success last year, taking the 2A District 6 title for a historic three years in a row. New Ririe Coach Jake Landon said he and his team have a high bar to meet this year. Depending on how the team does this year, it could continue that winning streak or break it.
“The expectations around here have been set pretty high, and I would say we are going to continue that,” Landon said.
Landon said there are two seniors on the team, with most players being either juniors or sophomores. He said that does not mean the team won’t have a chance to be four-time district champions.
“The young kids we have are talented and they’re ready to play,” he said.
The team lost its first game, but has since had nothing but wins. The team’s next game is scheduled for 7 p.m. tomorrow against Soda Springs.
As with both Rigby and Ririe, West Jefferson players are young this year. Coach Jalena Dixon said there is one player who has been on the team since she was a freshman, but said most are relatively new to varsity.
“I think our biggest focus is just to get better every game,” Dixon said.
She said so far, they have been doing just that. The team lost its first two games, each time by a decreasing margin, but won the next three.
“They are so coachable,” Dixon said Dec. 4. “In just our four games I’ve seen so much growth; they’re just willing to learn and try new things and get better.”
Dixon said competing in 2A is “always so tough” and said the schools are competitive. She said the girls on her team are hardworking, and said the goal, outside of improving, is to make it to state.
The Panthers next face off against Challis at 7 p.m. Friday.