By Ken Barhorst
HOUSTON — The Houston girls basketball team is under new leadership this season, with Brad Allen taking over for longtime coach Greg Ward.
He inherits a team that finished with a 10-12 record a year ago, and he has quite a bit of talent returning from that squad, including co-leading scorer Macey Stang, who along with Nicole Maier averaged just under 11 points per game.
Allen was the boys assistant coach for the last five years before stepping over to the girls program He has 17 players in his program, and only three of them are seniors in Stang, Jenna Winner and Micayla Hensley.
“Things have gone pretty well,” said Allen. “We have some key players back and we had some good things take place over the summer. I would like to have more depth, but I think we’ll be balanced in our scoring. So I’m excited for the season to start.”
Stang was the second-leading rebounder last season in addition to leading in scoring, and Winner led the team on the boards at 7.4 rebounds per game and also averaged 7.5 points.
“Macey and Jenna can score in double figures and are capable of the same on the boards,” Allen said. “Jenna is about six foot and will be playing in the post, and Macey can play any of the guard spots and is a good, all-around player.”
Hensley averaged 2.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game last season and will be playing at a wing and looking to up those figures.
There are three juniors on the team in Kara Maier, Nicole’s sister, along with Jenna Jarrett and Brittany Timmerman. Maier will be running the point or playing the two-guard spot. Jarrett will be playing inside, and Timmerman on the wing.
There are also two sophomores who will see plenty of action in Sarah Monnier and Rebekah New. “Sarah has some versatility and can play inside or outside,” said Allen. “Rebekah is the same way. She can play some post and some wing, and she actually ran the point on the JV team last year. She’ll be able to provide some good minutes inside and out.”
Those are the top eight, and Allen said there are a couple more sophomores that will split time.
“I like the ability Macey has,” he said. “Our three guards, Micayla, Kara and Macey, I like how they get the ball up the floor. I think Macey and Jenna will draw a lot of attention, so we need to develop other girls in our scoring.”