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Season Preview: Lehi girls hoops should be competitive again

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Despite graduating seven seniors from last year’s squad, the Lehi girls basketball team is looking for another strong season after reaching the Final Four in March and being eliminated by the eventual winner after a close contest.

“Our JV team went 17-3 last year,” said Coach Sean Seastrand. “That’s a pretty good sign that we’ve got some incoming talent.

“Most of the girls are going to be experiencing varsity-level playfor the first time, so maybe there will be some growing pains at the start, but I expect they’ll develop nicely by the end of theseason,” he added.

The Pioneers will get the campaign started when they welcome Northridge on Wednesday (Nov. 24). Since this is the first day of the Thanksgiving break, varsity game time is 2:30 p.m. Non-region play continues through the end of December, with region games set for Jan. 4 to Feb. 17.

“We had a little tournament scheduled that got cancelled at the last minute so we had to slap together a few things, but I feel really good about what we ended up with,” Seastrand said.

“We’ll be playing a nice mix of 5A and 6A teams both home and away,” he said. “We go to Idaho Falls in December for the East Idaho Holiday Shootout, so we’ll play some good competitionfrom out of state just before region play begins.”

The one returning starter is senior wing Jamisyn Heaton, who averaged about 10 points and five rebounds per contest last season. “She’s going to have a big year,” Seastrand said. “She was maybe a little overlooked last year but she’s ready to be the face and leader of the team.

Senior wing Maci Wall and senior guard Brooklyn Wiltbank arereturning varsity contributors who are also really talented. “We’ll give them a little time to rise to the varsity level, but I expect them to come right along,” the coach said.

Last year’s Region 7 teams have been moved to Region 8 except for Mountain Ridge, which moved up to 6A. Jordan drops down from 6A to fill that slot. The remaining teams include Alta, Mountain View, Orem, Timpanogos and Timpview.

The coach isn’t quite sure what to expect from the region teams this year. “We have Jordan coming in and Timpview got a new coach,” he said. “We’ll have a chance to see what’s coming before January.”

As for the playoff race, “It’s going to be a different look at the tournament this time,” Seastrand said. “Of the Final Four at State last spring, Farmington has moved up to 6A and the otherthree teams have very different rosters.

“Springville is always well coached and Olympus will still be pretty good, so we’ll see how it goes. We’re just really excited to get started,” the coach said. “The program’s in good shape and we have lots of talent at every level. Lehi girls basketball should be good for years to come.”

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