Sports

This time last year, the King’s West girls basketbal

Team 7-5 and in second place under

first-year coach Yvonne Brittain.

This time last year, the King’s West girls basketball team was cruising toward the postseason on the wings of uncle-niece duo Bryan Hanley and Megan Spence.

Hanley, the now-departed coach who compiled a 101-32 lifetime record, and Spence, a three-time SeaTac League Most Valuable Player who averaged 20.4 points per game in 2007-08, led the Lady Warriors to a school-record fourth-place finish in the Class 2B state tournament.

With Hanley and Spence gone, the Lady Warriors have held serve in the SeaTac League thanks to a new brand of leadership.

Senior Michelle Mosey, who sat out the 2007-08 season to focus on academics, is back.

Yvonne Brittain, who has extensive coaching experience at both the AAU and collegiate levels, is at the helm.

And senior Irene Moore, who previously took a backseat to Spence and now-departed Megan Morris on offense, is suddenly a legitimate scorer.

The result?

A revamped, new-look 7-5 team (5-2 league) aiming for the same old season-ending destination: the state tournament in Spokane.

“We have new personnel, new coaches, new everything,” Moore said Tuesday. “It’s been a challenge. I think the whole team was comfortable with where we were.”

But Moore said “change is always a challenge” and that she’s happy with the team’s progress and style of player under first-year coach Brittain.

“This year my role has changed ... to be more a scoring threat,” she said. “We’re a lot more of a guard-oriented team ... We just don’t have the size to develop our game in the post.”

Moore, a point guard, is suited well to the guard-oriented style of play. And naturally, she’s evolved into a team leader.

“I like the feeling of being the leader out there, just making it happen,” she said.

For Mosey, the 2008-09 adjustments have been twofold; getting back into playing shape after sitting out a year, while finding a niche alongside a new coach and a few new teammates.

“In the beginning, it was more trying to become a team and adapt to the new coach and her style of coaching,” Mosey said. “Now, midseason, we are starting to come together well ... we just need to put our ducks in a line and get everything ready and we’ll be pretty good.”

With the regular-season finale looming and league and district tournaments to follow, both Mosey and Moore said advancing to the state tournament is a realistic goal.

“Just making it back to state would be the ultimate (end) to my senior year,” Moore said.

“It’s about us as a team being successful,” Mosey added. “We just need to have faith in our team and each other.”

The Lady Warriors visit The Bear Creek School at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow. The team beat Rainier Christian 56-22 Jan. 17 to rebound from a 37-36 loss against Seattle Lutheran Jan. 15.

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