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King's West looks toward next season
"What if?What if one more shot was made?What if two more free throws were converted?What if King's West would have won their opening round match up against the Lyle Cougars, who finished third overall?Questions can be asked, but the King's West girl's basketball team was not asking questions after their 47-27 loss to the Selkirk Rangers March 2 that knocked them from the tournament. Rather, they were making a statement.No other team at the tournament had as totally revamped a roster as that of the 1999-2000 King's West Warriors.With only one returning starter, senior forward Kasey Treger, coach Tom Oliver had to fill many voids in his lineup this year.We didn't have the dominant shooters that we've had in the past trips here (to state), Oliver said.This year's King's West girls basketball team was not expected to do much. Most of the the players who helped KW qualify for four of the previous five state tournaments had graduated. With all the new faces, Oliver didn't expect to finish atop their Sea-Tac League division, much less place third at Tri-Districts and return to Spokane. But the Warriors grew and got better as they gained experience.We just kept working hard and we got better as the season got closer to the end. I think we suprised a lot of people with the hard work and results that we got from that, Treger said.Last season Oliver and the Warriors notched their first ever win at state, but this year there would be no second win for King's West. The loss to Selkirk was preceded by a first-round loss to Lyle, which eventually took third at the tournament. But the first-round loss was a much closer game than the score shows. Lyle was leading just 48-45 with 33 seconds remaining in the game before the Cougars put the game away with four straight free throws. The good news for the Warriors is, the bulk of this year's surprising team returns next year. Among those expected to be back for another campaign are starters point guard Marica Bulette, center Bethany Grams and forwards Bekah Walker and Natasha Beals. The Warrior bench will be back, too, with an extra year of experience.And ace Lindsay Redfern, who had a promising freshman year before sitting out this season with injury, might also make another appearance in a Warrior uniform next year.But next year, King's West won't surprise anyone."