West Iron girls look to overcome early setback
IRON RIVER—For the past couple of years, the West Iron County girls basketball team has entered each season with highly ambitious goals and exceedingly lofty expectations.
And why not as the Wykons have sported all the ingredients of a top-notch team with talent, height, athleticism and experience across the board.
This year, while the aims remain high, West Iron’s chances for a repeat of last year’s 19-3 record and spot in the Division 3 regional round took an early hit with the loss of leading scorer and Division 1-3 Dream Teamer Eden Golliher to season-ending knee surgery.
Gone are the 6-foot University of Minnesota Crookston signee’s 15.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 blocks per game, as well as providing the Wykons with mismatch at the power forward position and someone who was adept at providing ball handling against full-court pressure defenses.
So before moving on to focus on the talented players who remain on his team, West Iron coach Eric Shamion shared his thoughts about Golliher’s departure.
“Being without Eden, it’s a major blow to our team,” Shamion began. “And we’re not going to have (all her abilities). But with a loss like that, you talk to the kids about who is going to step up and who’s going to help score a couple of points that Eden would and who can handle the ball a little bit extra … when the pressure does come.
“It will be interesting to see who steps up in her place. And hopefully it will be three or four different kids.”
While none of the options are as tall and experienced as Golliher, there are players who bring potential to the mix. One obvious choice will be senior forward Mya Grubbs, who played some significant minutes last year off the bench and provides strength and an ability to score near the basket and along the baseline.
Shamion’s daughter Jordan, a junior, will also be looked toward to play power forward minutes and to mix things up on the inside. Juniors McKenna Kegley and Livea Mazurek are also in the picture as reserve forwards.