Jason Reed, Reporter
Paula Dahl and the Bakersfield College women’s basketball team have some of the highest expectations this season after finishing 13-10 in the 2012-2013 season and barely missing the playoffs.
BC is a much taller team in the front court this year, adding four lengthy freshman from Stockdale High School to go along with 6-foot freshman forward Rosebrooke Hunt from Frontier High.
“We’ve got some nice height this year, and they are a good group of kids,” Dahl said when talking about 5-9 guard Julia Pifer, 5-10 guard Leigha Moland, 6-0 forward Nakia Page, and 6-1 forward Dakota Oliver from Stockdale. “We’ve incorporated them into BC now,” she added.
Dahl explained how she was excited about the new 10-second backcourt rule that was instituted into women’s basketball.
“We’ll look at pressing [this year] in a way that we’ve never looked at full-court pressing,” she said. “I’d always do a half-court trap, but I was never committed to a full-court trap because of the fact that [the other team] had a good guard. But with the 10-second call and with our height and our length and athleticism, I think we’ll be able to give some fits to people.”
BC went into last season as the defending champions of the Western State Conference after posting a 16-8 record. In terms of winning, the Renegades played solid basketball, but could not put together consistent winning streaks to repeat as champions. Part of that had to do with players being injured and not being aggressive enough rebounding and making free throws.
“I’m excited about our potential,” Dahl answered when asked about some of the expectations she has this season. “We have options we did not have at all last year. I felt like my team [from last year] did pretty well because we weren’t big, and now I’ve got size and athleticism to go with it.”
Dahl said when she has everyone healthy, she would feel comfortable starting eight different players any night when she was asked about a sixth player off the bench.
“I’m really, really pleased with them,” Dahl said when was asked about the chemistry of the team. “We’ve been practicing for a long time and they’re buying into what we want to do.
“We really want to see what we can do with our press and getting our running game going,” Dahl said about the upcoming Bakersfield College Cross Over Tournament against College of the Desert.
“It looks like we match up really well with them comparing rosters. I know nothing about them, I’ve never played them, but I know we match up comparing rosters.”
Dahl will be entering the season with a new coaching staff also, with former West High coach Jill Stephens-Adams along with Autumn Nichols.
“Just to have more eyes to develop our kids is huge, and so we’ve got talent and I’ve got the manpower to even develop that talent more and I’m pretty fired up,” Dahl said.
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