Juniors lead deep Camp Verde girls basketball

Camp Verde junior Tanna Decker dives for a loose ball during the Cowboys’ scrimmage against Ash Fork on Friday afternoon. Out of the 12 players on the roster, eight are juniors. VVN/James Kelley

Camp Verde junior Tanna Decker dives for a loose ball during the Cowboys’ scrimmage against Ash Fork on Friday afternoon. Out of the 12 players on the roster, eight are juniors. VVN/James Kelley

With their big 2020 class now juniors, Camp Verde High girls basketball looks ready to make some noise in the state tournament.

CV head coach Mark Showers said the Cowboys will look really good at full strength.

“Overall the girls look more confident, which is a great situation for us,” Showers said. “We’ve been a young team for so long and now for the most part we’re a bunch of juniors, with one senior and a couple of sophomores and a freshman but they looked like a more seasoned group, like I said with more confidence.”

Junior center Jacy Finley is coming back after a foot injury and an ankle injury and junior Destiny Dowdle sprained her ankle.

“So within the next, hopefully two to three weeks, we’re have everybody back,” Showers said.

Out of the 12 players on the roster, eight are juniors.

Finley and current junior point guard Tanna Decker were first team All-Central Region. Current junior Amanda Lozanilla was second team all-region last year and Dowdle was honorable mention.

Showers said the juniors have become more confident and stronger.

“They’ve always been a pretty talented group, a pretty skilled group but the confidence level has made a big difference,” Showers said. “The other thing that’s made a big difference is they’re stronger. They’re stronger, they’re faster; it’s just a more seasoned, more mature group.”

CV’s lone senior, shooting guard Hope Ontiveros, was second team All-Central last year.

Freshman guard Shelly Warfield is the rookie on the roster.

“She’s pretty strong and of course she’s going to learn a lot this year,” Showers said. “Right now she’s trying to figure out what’s going on, the offenses and the defenses, but she’s a talented kid and she’ll figure it out.”

Shooting guard Maya Hedges and guard Bridgette Fitzgerald are the sophomores on the squad and played varsity last year.

“They look a whole lot more confident this year than they did last year,” Shoers said. “Overall as a group I’m real happy with the confidence and maturity.”

On Friday the Cowboys hosted a scrimmage against Ash Fork. All 10 players that suited up played extensively.

“The scrimmage went well,” Showers said. “We were able to get all 10 girls lots of playing time and this season we’re looking at pressuring the ball a lot more, so we worked on a full court and a half court pressure defense and it looks like the girls are starting to pick that up. There’s a lot of things to work on, we’re still missing some assignments, but overall it looked like the girls were really figuring out the positioning, where they’re supposed to be, the different placements on the floor.”

This year the regions were realigned, so some new faces join ones like Glendale Prep, Northland Prep and Sedona Red Rock on the Cowboys’ Central schedule.

“We have some different teams that we’re playing this year,” Showers said. “We played Scottsdale Prep last year but now they’re in our region so we’re going to play them twice. We play Valley Lutheran twice and we’ve never played them. We play North Pointe Prep twice and it’s been years sine we’ve played them, so we do have some new schools that we’ll have to play an hopefully they’re a challenging group of schools, so they’ll just make us better.”

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