By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
There’s practice speed and there’s game speed.
The Brentwood High School girls basketball team got its first taste of the latter on Friday night when it hosted its first ever preseason jamboree. BHS and three other high schools played one another in shortened practice games to tune up for the season, which starts in two weeks. The Eagles played each of the other three teams – Whitfield, Villa Duchesne and Nerinx Hall − for two six-minute periods.
The scoreboard was reset after each period, which was a good idea considering that the schools are in three different size classes: Brentwood and Whitfield in Class 3, Villa Duchesne in Class 4 and Nerinx Hall in Class 5.
It’s the first year preseason jamborees have been allowed in winter sports by the Missouri State High School Activities Association, said Brentwood head coach Chris Jones. The rule change is timely for Brentwood, which has only two varsity starters from last year and needs reps for a new starting lineup to emerge.
Not surprisingly, Jones and junior varsity coach Andy Nieters saw areas that need work.
“The communication, hustle and intensity need to improve,” Jones said.
“In practice they’ll give you a couple of good rounds on the floor, then they’ll let up,” said assistant coach Dan Williams. “This [the jamboree] shows them how they have to be full speed all the time.”
Only three on the team have played consistently together on varsity. Senior point guard Shelby Linneman and junior forward/guard Danni Coates were starters and sophomore guard/forward Claudia Jones was what coach Jones calls “the sixth man.”
The only two others with varsity experience are junior guard Lydia Dorenbusch and sophomore center Sophia Rivera, who at 5-feet-11 is the tallest person on the team.
Others competing for starting positions are: juniors Ar’shay Lampkin, center/forward, and Aliah Erby, forward; and sophomores Abby Harper, point guard, Emma Holmes, forward, and Riane Caldwell, guard.
Dec. 4 vs. Carnahan at BHS, 5 p.m. JV, 6:30 p.m. varsity
Dec. 6 vs. John Burroughs at BHS, 5 p.m. JV, 6:30 p.m. varsity
Dec. 11 vs. Lift for Life at BHS, 5 p.m. JV, 6:30 p.m. varsity