Coach Ronnie Posey and the Bayfield High School girls basketball team will start the season with a 1-2 punch.
But it’s not a 1-2 inside-outside punch or a 1-2 offensive-defensive punch, either.
Rather, the Wolverines themselves were victimized by a 1-2 preseason punch of illness and injuries. And plenty of both.
“We’ve had some unfortunate injuries. We lost one of our starters before the season started,” Posey said.
Jordan Edwards, expected to play a starting role as the Wolverines seek a second consecutive appearance at the CHSAA Class 3A Elite Eight, underwent back surgery in the offseason and will not be available for court duty.
“But she’ll still be an active part of our team ... just not on the court,” said Posey, who led the Wolverines on their historic journey to the state tournament at Colorado State University in Fort Collins last season.
“And we’ve got two others who are still ... limping (with leg injuries),” Posey said as the Wolverines prepared for the season opener at 7 p.m. (varsity) today at home against Bloomfield, N.M.
Chanel McCloskey has been sidelined along with McKaela Knickerbocker, who battled an ankle problem during the recently completed volleyball season.
“McKaela ... I think will be fine. But right there is a lot of our speed,” Posey said of the three key injuries. He said the BHS lineup will be “wide open” because of the early injuries and the graduation of a big senior class last year.
“But I have to commend the girls this year. Their attitude, their ‘coachability’ ... it’s great,” Posey said.
“They are eager to work, and they are fun to work with.”
Seniors Kirby Brown and Layne Bulwan return with experience from last season.
“Layne’s a senior; she’ll be (a leader) out there,” Posey said.
They’ll be joined by juniors Carrie Yost and Jaida Ross.
Destini McGehey “will play a huge role,” Posey said. “She’s worked really hard on her game.”
Knickerbocker and McCloskey will be worked back into the lineup as they return from injury.
The Bayfield head coach said the 2012-13 players learned from last year’s senior-dominated, state-qualifying team.
“These girls played against a team that was the best in the league every night in practice,” Posey said.
The current Wolverines will play pressure defense, but the team likely won’t full-court press to the extent the last two BHS girls varsity teams did.
“They (current Wolverines) understand the philosophy (of pressure defense). They just need confidence ... time on the court,” Posey said.
The team learned a lot in its scrimmage earlier this week against Ignacio.
“It did show us some things to work on,” Posey said. “That Ignacio team is very athletic, quick. They are loaded this year.”
Posey, battling a tortuous case of the “valley crud” along with many others at BHS, said the Wolverines improved as the scrimmage progressed.
“We’ll try to build on the positives (from the scrimmage) and work to get ready,” said Posey, his voice sounding like he was talking into a Campbell’s soup can at the end of a string.
The 2012-13 string for the Wolverines will start against Bloomfield – 7 p.m. today at the BHS gym.