Despite roster hit, King’s girls basketball team continues to compete
Doug Flanagan/ Everett Herald
Mon Jan 2nd, 2017 11:00pm/
The King’s girls basketball team has a drastically new look this season.
The Knights, who finished second at the Class 1A state tournament last March, lost several players who decided not to turn out this season, opting for club soccer instead. Another player transferred to different school. In total, King’s lost nine players, including graduated seniors, from last year’s roster.
That’s a tough hit for any team to take, especially for one with legitimate state-championship aspirations. But it doesn’t appear as though the defections are going to get in the way of another solid campaign for the Knights. After losing three games at the start of the season to larger schools, King’s (4-4 overall) won its first three Cascade Conference games to push its conference winning streak to 46.
“We had a lot of questions coming into this season,” Knights coach Dan Taylor said. “Our girls have (adopted) the Seattle Seahawks’ slogan — ‘We’re all we got, we’re all we need.’ We can’t chase girls that aren’t with us. We feel that we have all that we need to be competitive. The seniors have been to the state-championship game three years in a row. There’s high expectations, and even though we’re missing some teammates from the past, we think they can get back to Yakima if we can stay healthy and improve.”
The Knights have relied on a balanced offensive approach so far, with five players averaging between eight and 10 points per game. Taylor has been pleased with the play of twin sisters Hannah Echelbarger (who averages six assists per game) and Abbi Echelbarger.
“Both of them push the ball on the break and find open shooters,” Taylor said. “We have a lot of speed and not a lot of height. But the girls have a lot of heart, play tough and don’t back down. All in all I’ve been pleased with the way we’ve played so far.”