Expectations high for Panorama girls
The Panorama girls basketball team returns their entire roster in 2017-18 from a team that went 22-2 and fell a point short of reaching the state tournament last season.
So, of course, the expectations are high for the Panthers, who also won the West Central Activities Conference championship last winter.
Coach Dan Druivenga begins his 25th season at the head of the Panorama program after winning his 400th career victory last season. Druivenga-lead Panther teams have posted a 195-40 record over the past 10 seasons. Last year’s Conference Coach of the Year, Druivenga is again assisted by Tim Lazenby and Kylee Boettcher.
Senior Devyn Kemble and junior Bailey Beckman, arguably two of the state’s top players, return to guide the Panthers, both unanimous first team all conference picks a year ago. Beckman averaged 15.5 points and Kemble 14. Beckman made 35 three-pointers, shooting 27.6 percent from behind the arch, and Kemble splashed 31 triples, shooting 32 percent from long range. Beckman was 108 for 135 (80 percent) and Kemble 83 for 96 (87 percent) from the foul line. Beckman had a team-high 42 assists and 66 steals. Kemble pulled down 124 rebounds, 5.2 a game, and added 39 assists and 63 steals.
Balancing out the Panorama line-up and returning are junior Morgan Johnk, a second team league pick last year, and seniors Faith Powell and Hope Wilderman, who both earned honorable mention accolades. Johnk poured in 9.1 points and was the team’s top rebounder with 6.1 a game last season. Powell added 7.5 points and 4.2 rebounds and Wilderman 4.0 points and 3.5 rebounds a game for the Panthers last season.
Other returning letterwinners for the Panthers are seniors Nicole Rolfes and Kellie Prince, juniors Brooke Halterman, Vallerie Storesund, Lydia Knapp, Taylor Rishel and Jaelyn Waddle and sophomore Anna Holloway.
Others rounding out the roster are Kassidy Bremer and Cierra Wright, and freshmen Ella Waddle, Shey Storesund, Abby Cobb, Jaden Johnson and Adrianna McMichaels.
“Strength is our depth, and experience,” said Druivenga.
Early concerns are losing Faith Powell for the first part of the season with a knee injury in the off-season.
Looking at the conference season, the Panther boss said Des Moines Christian and Van Meter are expected to challenge his club.
“Earlham will be up and coming with a talented freshmen class,” he said.
The Panthers get started on Thursday, November 16 in a Girls Jamboree at Harlan. They host Logan-Magnolia in a Pride Scrimmage on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and open the regular season on Tuesday, November 21 at home against Gilbert in a jv-varsity girls doubleheader.
On Saturday, November 25 the Panthers will play against Springville, the defending Class 1-A state champions, at Coe College in Cedar Rapids at 3:30 p.m.