KW shooting for return to state

First-year coach Yvonne Brittain is looking to KW senior Irene Moore (22) for leadership. Moore is the team’s starting point guard.  - Jesse Beals/file photo
First-year coach Yvonne Brittain is looking to KW senior Irene Moore (22) for leadership. Moore is the team’s starting point guard.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/file photo

New coach looks to guide King’s West

to state for seventh-consecutive season.

King’s West is going to be hard-pressed to match the success of last year’s team, which brought home a fourth-place trophy from the Class 2B state tournament in Spokane.

Gone is former coach Bryan Hanley, who resigned in May after leading the team to six consecutive state appearances, its best finish in school history and a 101-32 lifetime record.

Gone is Megan Spence, Hanley’s niece who last season averaged 20.4 points, 11.9 rebounds, 5.1 steals and 2.2 assists per game to earn a third consecutive SeaTac League Most Valuable Player award.

And gone is Megan Morris, a tough defender and three-sport varsity athlete who complemented Spence on both ends of the floor.

First-year coach Yvonne Brittain has her hands full indeed.

But Brittain, who currently serves as coach and director of the Puget Sound Elite, a girls select basketball team comprised of the West Sound’s top high school players, is ready for the challenge.

In fact, she believes the team can pick up right where it left off.

“We certainly have a nucleus of kids coming back who can keep the tradition going,” Brittain said. “I think we have some kids who can rise to the occasion.”

Among them is senior point guard Irene Moore, who Brittain called “a quality individual and a team leader” and expects to generate big plays on both ends of the floor. Moore is an established defender as well as passer, having distributed the ball to Spence and Morris the past three seasons. Brittain, however, wants to see her become more assertive and drive the ball toward the hoop.

“I’d like to see her get to the free throw line,” Brittain said.

Sophomore center Breyenne Mosey, who was primarily the fourth or fifth scoring option as a freshman, will see an increased role on the offense end. And at 6 feet, she has the size and strength to become a threat, both scoring and rebounding.

“She’s got to be by far one of the best centers as a sophomore on the (Kitsap) Peninsula,” Brittain said of Mosey. “She’s going to have to take a lot of the load inside for us.”

Hayley Milleson, Chelsey Tenneson, Brielle Foley, Emma Shiplet, Carlie Rouse, Jamie Heggenstauer and Lauren Miller, all of whom were on the 2007-08 fourth-place state team, return as well.

King’s West has a junior varsity team this year, giving the program stability, as freshmen who otherwise wouldn’t see playing time will step on the floor in a competitive environment.

“The key thing with any program ... is trying to get kids out,” Brittain said. “They’ve got hidden talent here to be tapped into.”

The JV team means younger, undeveloped players can hone their skills before stepping up to the varsity level, a process Brittain said is important.

“That’s the teaching part, they have to come along slowly,” she said.

Opponents are going to see run-and-run, uptempo play from the Lady Warriors, but Brittain said she will recognize how her plays react and tinker the game plan accordingly.

“You try to develop a game plan that fits the personnel you have,” she explained. “Sometimes you have to be willing to adjust, that’s what we’re trying to do here.”

King’s West hosts a jamboree today before tipping off the regular season at Shoreline Christian Dec. 2.

And with a few practices under her belt, Brittain is impressed with what she’s seen.

“They certainly work hard,” she said.

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