Cyprus girls rebound into state tournament
Mar 06, 2019 02:33PM
By Greg James
Cyprus senior Abby Garreaud has had multiple collegiate programs discussing with her options to continue to play after she graduates. (Greg James/City Journals)
By Greg James | [email protected]
A batch of young and talented girls has taken the court at Cyprus High School. Their determination has earned them a region championship.
“We are playing a lot of young girls big minutes,” Pirates head coach Chad Stevens said. “We knew that this would be a tough preseason, but we used that to get ready for region. That has been our goal the whole time is to get better, I feel like we got better.”
The Pirates only had three seniors that played significant minutes this season: Abby Garreaud, Kailee Hunter and Janae Sigrest. In his sixth season as the Pirates head coach, Stevens has relied on his upperclassman to teach the younger players what is needed to become winners.
“This team has fight and heart. They will not give up. I think we make a lot of mistakes and we just try to learn from them. We don’t give up. As a coach that is what I ask for,” Stevens said.
Despite a lackluster performance in its preseason games the Pirates rebounded to be in the hunt for a region championship. They began by losing four of their first six preseason games, but Stevens said he knew this would prepare them for region.
“Our region will be a battle every night. There is not much separation between (team) one and (team) five. That is why we emphasized in preseason our improvement. So we can be ready,” he said.
Cyprus managed to finish 10-2 and capture first place in Region 2. Their only two region losses came at the hands of Hunter who finished in second place.
In its final contest against Hunter, the Pirates were held to five points in the first half. Despite the deficit they rallied to force overtime. Their comeback fell just short as they lost 38-37.
The Pirates were led in scoring this season by Garreaud. She averaged 14.8 points and 11.4 rebounds per game.
“Her (Garreaud) biggest skill is that she is relentless,” Stevens said. “She goes 100 miles an hour when she is on the court. That energy and hustle leads to a lot of good things. She has worked hard on her foot work and touch around the basket, but her best ability is how hard she plays in practice and games. She is also a leader for our younger players.”
Garreaud has had interest from junior college basketball programs and some division two teams. Stevens said he is confident she will have an opportunity to play basketball after high school.
“We have a freshman that is really talented (Karina Grayer). She is coming along nicely and we are going to rely on her a lot this year. She has a lot to learn, but we like her progress,” Stevens said.
“This team works hard on the court and off the court,” Stevens said. “It makes my job easy.”
The Pirates qualified for the UHSAA state tournament, but were bounced out in the first round of state falling to Riverton.