Mill Creek Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

By David Pan 

Major changes ahead for Archbishop Murphy | Girls basketball


Last updated 8/17/2018 at Noon

The graduation of six seniors means the Archbishop Murphy girls basketball team is in a full rebuilding mode.

But the good news for the Wildcats, who lost to W.F. West in the 2A state championship game, return reigning co-league MVP Emily Rodabaugh.

The Archbishop Murphy senior standout, along with teammates Julia Lucas and Audrey Graham, spent the offseason becoming better acquainted with their new teammates during a summer league at the high school and team camp at Gonzaga University.

Wildcats coach Cassie Snyder said that the main goal this summer was to get the new players more familiar to the program and Rodabaugh was an integral part of the process.

“She’s starting to flourish as a leader and really just helping to bring the young kids, the underclassmen along,” Snyder said. “She’s done a great job on and off the court as a leader. Obviously, she’s a great player. The expectations are high there.”

The Wildcats are having to replace not only a lot of talent but leadership.

“I’m hoping she’ll be a lot more vocal and almost be like a coach on the floor,” Snyder said of Rodabaugh. “She’s going to have to make sure people are in the right spot. … We also have Julia Lucas and Audrey Graham. Both of those girls are going to be huge, just with their experience the last three years.”

Graham is projected to take over the starting point guard role.

“We expect her to run the offense,” Snyder said. “She’s also a 2-guard. She’s a great shooter.”

Lucas will continue as a starting forward and at 5-foot-11, she likely will be Archbishop Murphy’s main inside presence.

The make-up of the Wildcats’ roster will be a lot younger but Snyder was impressed by the play of the new players.

“We do have a lot of talented kids coming in,” Snyder. “The more reps they get, the better.”

While the Wildcats made progress during the summer, much more work remains this fall. Snyder might not know until the start of the regular season exactly which players she’ll be relying on this year.

“We have young kids coming in who could have impact roles,” she said. “But we’ll see. Varsity is a different level. We are excited about the kids coming in for sure.”

The other major change is joining the Wesco 3A following the dissolution of the Cascade Conference. Archbishop Murphy will still be participating in the 2A playoffs.

The higher-level competition during the regular season should be good for the Wildcats.

“We think it’s better to play the best and get better,” Snyder said. “It’s going to be a huge challenge, especially losing six seniors and being fairly young. That’s the way we’d rather have it. It allows us to really see what gaps we have and how we need to get better.”


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