Nov 29, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorPAVILLION -- Wind River girls basketball coach Justin Walker is expecting his team to be competitive this year in the Class 2-A ranks and fighting for a state tournament berth by the end of the season.
Walker heads into the season with a strong group of juniors and seniors on his roster.
WRHS has made steady progress the last two years.
"We have a really solid group of girls," Walker said. "We have some upper-level leadership, which is going to be big for us."
Walker has high expectations for his players on and off the court.
"I expect these girls to work hard in every second they are on the floor," Walker said.
"I expect them to be great teammates and great students. With that follows success."
Wind River's three seniors on the roster are Brett Groesbeck, Amanda C'Bearing and Kayla Wagon.
Groesbeck and C'Bearing were all-conference players in 2011.
"Brett is playing really well," Walker said. "She continued to play a lot of basketball for us through the summer. I have big expectations for her underneath and outside.
Defensively, she has some long arms and plays really well for us."
C' Bearing should be one of the top scorers for the Lady Cougars.
"Amanda has always been a silent leader for us," Walker said. "She is a great basketball player for us inside and out."
Walker said Wagon is a good example for the younger players.
"Kayla never missed an open gym or a basketball tournament for us this summer," Walker said.
After the seniors, WRHS is loaded with a talented junior class.
"We have a slew of juniors, and they will all give us big minutes on the court," Walker said. "I'm very comfortable going to our bench. I look at that we could start 10 different girls."
The Lady Cougars play three games this weekend in the Burlington-Greybull tournament.
Wind River faces Burlington in the season opener. WRHS ends the tourney with Rocky Mountain and Greybull.
"Burlington is always a solid team," Walker said. "We are excited to play them and go out and showcase what we have been working on."
Walker believes the first weekend will set the pace for the rest of the season.
"There are some goals that we want to do, but at the same time we want to walk out of there with victories," Walker said. "We want to make sure that our free throw shooting percentage is high. We want to be able to get up and down the floor.
We want to move the basketball and distribute it across the floor."
The home opener for WRHS is at 2:30 p.m Saturday, Dec. 8 in Pavillion. The Lady Cougars play Thermopolis Dec. 21 in another home contest.
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.