Al Snyder feels that he just doesn’t seem to have the right words to explain the success that the Simla girls basketball team is having this season. But, then the head coach for the Cubs probably doesn’t need them. What these girls are doing is pretty explanatory.
Simla has a lucky “13-0” record heading into this week’s action in the Black Forest League. And, that record is good enough to have the Cubs ranked No. 4 in Class 2A behind Akron, Lutheran and The Vanguard School.
“I just don’t seem to have all the right words,” Snyder said. “These are a wonderful set of girls that care deeply for each other. They want to stress having a good time, but of course, playing well. It has been an exciting season and our three seniors have been true leaders for us.”
Definitely, the Simla seniors, Marilyn Alexander, Jessica George and Kenzi Mitchell have been the backbone for the Cubs. But this is a team that has a wealth of talent to rely on with players that also have a Class 1A state championship and a semifinal appearance.
Simla reached the 1A state semifinals last season after having won the championship in 2011 with a 50-42 victory over Pawnee.
However, Simla is up to 2A this season, yet there still has not been a team to really stay with the Cubs.
“I’m excited about their cohesiveness and their concentration when they are out there,” Snyder said. “There isn’t a selfish girl on the team. I can coach these girls forever. They just go out and play so hard. They love practice and they always come in ready to learn and get better.”
This is a team that can play outstanding defense and put the points on the board. The Cubs have held 10 opponents to under 40 points which includes seven games under 30 points and four under 20. As a team, they have averaged 64.4 points a game offensively scoring over 60 points nine times.
Mitchell, at 5-11, has been the leading scorer this season averaging 19.2 points a game and balanced scoring certainly plays the role the rest of the way.
“I think all five of our starters have the chemistry,” said Mitchell, who also averages 7.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists a game. “My key is to take care of the ball. We’ve all worked hard in practice and it has paid off.”
So far, only Peyton, Flagler and Kit Carson have been able to score more than 40 points on a talented Simla defense.
Alexander has been a force underneath for Simla, pulling down 6.1 rebounds and scoring 9.8 a game.
Also having fine seasons for Simla has been sophomores Sam Kaatz and Hannah Lutz and juniors Mikki Korinek and Kassity Tucker. Yet several of the others have been able to step up with fine games as the season has progressed.
Simla will put its unbeaten streak on the line Friday when the Cubs host undefeated and top-ranked Vanguard Christian (14-0).
“Going up a class has been a challenge, but all the girls have been able to do well,” Snyder said. “We’ve still got a ways to go, but I’m certainly proud of the way they have played so far this year.”