Ramona High School’s varsity girls basketball team will be defending its Valley League championship, but the Valley League is different in 2008-09.
Gone are Escondido and San Pasqual. In their places are defending CIF Division II champs Mt. Carmel, the team that knocked the Lady Dawgs from the playoffs in the semifinals last season, and 2008 Palomar League champions Westview High School and Oceanside High School.
The Valley League has three teams that won more than 20 games in 2008: Ramona (21-8), Mt. Carmel (20-12) and Westview (28-7). Oceanside and Orange Glen also finished the 2008 campaign with winning records. Both teams finished 15-14.
Ramona returns five seniors from last season’s championship team: Janet Nasman, Kathryn Owens, Brylynn Garcia, Linze Cole and Chelsea Maurer. All have been named captains.
Nasman, Garcia and Owens are entering their fourth year on the varsity squad.
“Janet Nasman is the Valley League’s top post player,” said Coach Dan Marshall. “Kathryn Owens is a returning all leaguer. Brylynn is a physical player and a great leader. Linze Cole is a great shooter and Chelsea Maurer is a great scorer as a point guard.”
Junior Kellie Schoepp is returning for her third year on the varsity. “Kellie is a clutch performer,” said Marshall.
Six juniors will move up to the varsity: Kayla Lawler, Morgan Gross and Christie Flores will play forward; Felisha Stead, Jessica Beam and Tessa Balcom will play guard; sophomore Guard Tori Sheppard will be the only sophomore on the squad; and guard Paige Conroy will be the lone freshman on the team.
“We are picked to finish second in the league, but we are planning on winning the championship,” said Marshall. “We also plan on going deep into the playoffs.”
Marshall, the team’s head coach, will be assisted by veteran coach Joe Bess and first year assistant Erin O’Connor.