Last season didn’t go well for Plymouth Christian Academy’s varsity girls basketball team, with the Eagles managing just a 4-17 record.
That is viewed as a mere bump in the road by PCA veteran head coach Rod Windle, entering his 11th season with the squad.
Windle — whose son, Matt, is taking over the PCA varsity boys team, by the way — is optimistic that the returning players are much stronger thanks to experience gained during 2014-15 followed by a strong off-season.
“Our team is very athletic and should make it hard on opponents to score,” Windle said. “All of our returners have starting experience which should translate into aggressive and confident play at both ends of the floor.
“We did lose (guard) Raina Postma to graduation and will miss her floor presence and her assists. Our guards Paige Perkey, Kennedy Horne, Rachel Witkowski and Robin Albert had a great summer and really gained confidence by competing against teams from bigger schools.”
Also gone from last year is center Danielle Witkowski, whose work on the glass will be missed, the coach emphasized.
But 5-9 junior forwards Lydia Chapel and Taylor Mistele “will be asked to defend the paint this year.”
PCA’s offensive game also will rely on sophomore point guard Albert dishing the ball inside to players like Chapel, Mistele and 5-11 junior forward Aliyah Pries.
Windle noted several promising newcomers, in 5-9 senior guard Kelly Abraham and 5-4 junior guard Jordan Reed.
“Both players will bring energy to the defense and will be shooting threats on the offensive end,” he said.
Sophomore guard Natalie Shaffer brings a scoring touch from the perimeter and “will bring defensive intensity to our team.”
“Last year our team was young featuring five sophomores and a freshman point guard,” Windle continued. “We hope to be very competitive this year and improve greatly upon the record we posted last season.
“Most of our juniors were a part of the team in 2014 that lost in regional finals and they have a desire to go far in the state tournament this year.”