Minatare girls team solidifies with five returning juniors
     2013-12-19      By Lauren Smith-Kuckkahn    laurensmithkuckkahn@geringcitizen.com
Photos by Lauren Smith-Kuckkahn/Gering Citizen - The Minatare girls' basketball team front row from from left are Franki Doty, Amber McNees, Destiny Craig; back row, Angelica Longoria, Kaitlin Craig, Tristen Wecker and Briana Regester. Not pictured: Jazmin Martinez. 
Minatare girls' basketball team has returning players this year, with five juniors in the mix to head up three freshmen.

Matt Korkow, first-year head coach for the team, and assistant coach Laura McAllister, are working with the teammates on developing a strong team cohesiveness.

“The team goals are to get above 500 as a team and to come together as a team,” Korkow said.

Junior Angelica Longoria, 5’7, was the team star last year, and carried the team through most games.

“She was the top scorer of the team last year, she was the team captain, and everything they did revolved around her,” Korkow said.

Longoria is team captain again for the third year in a row, and Korkow expects to see great things from her. However, he wants to see the rest of the team come up into their own.
He said freshmen Franki Doty, 5’2, and Destiny Craig, 5’2, are two new team members that are on their way to being strong players.

“They’re showing growth, this season, even before our first game, and they’re going to help out the team. I know they will,” Korkow said.

The freshman players mainly need experience on the court, Korkow said, and with experience, confidence will come.

The team as a whole is working hard, he said.

“They’re learning the system I’m putting into use this year, and during skirmishes they’re showing that they’re understanding how to put it to use on the court,” he said.

“They need to gain confidence, not only in themselves but in their teammates,” Korkow said. “They are capable but they need confidence, and to find consistency as well.”

“It’s hopefully going in the right direction for the team this year. We’ll just have to wait and see,” Korkow said.

Juniors on the team this year include Jazmin Martinez, 5’5; Briana Regester, 5’7; Kaitlin Craig, 5’10; and Tristen Wecker, 5’7. Additional freshman player is Amber McNees, 5’5.

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