Morgan Wille, a Little Snake River Valley School senior, goes up for a jump shot last season. The LSRV girls varsity basketball team opened the season Friday in the Carbon County Classic Tournament. Head coach Jodi Stanley said the team’s goal is a state title this season.

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Morgan Wille, a Little Snake River Valley School senior, goes up for a jump shot last season. The LSRV girls varsity basketball team opened the season Friday in the Carbon County Classic Tournament. Head coach Jodi Stanley said the team’s goal is a state title this season.

LSRV Rattlers eye run at state title

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Schedule ...

The 2011-12 Little Snake River Valley School girls varsity basketball schedule:

(Date — place — location/opponent)

• Today — away — Carbon County Classic Tournament

• Dec. 9 — away — Little Six Tournament (Rawlins)

• Dec. 10 — away — Little Six Tournament (Rawlins)

• Dec. 16 — home — Rangely High School

• Dec. 17 — away — Hayden High School

• Jan. 6 — home — Hanna-Elk Mountain High School

• Jan. 7 — home — Saratoga High School

• Jan. 10 — home — Hayden High School

• Jan. 12 — away — Rangely High School

• Jan. 13 — away — Saratoga High School

• Jan. 20 — away — Farson-Eden High School

• Jan. 21 — away — Cokeville High School

• Jan. 27 — home — Big Piney High School

• Jan. 28 — away — Encampment High School

• Feb. 4 — away — Manila High School

• Feb. 10 — home — Cokeville High School

• Feb. 11 — home — Farson-Eden High School

• Feb. 17 — away — Hanna-Elk Mountain High School

• Feb. 18 — home — Encampment High School

Projected Starters

Little Snake River Valley girls varsity basketball team’s expected starters for the Carbon County Classic Tournament:

(Name — year)

• Riley Adams — Sr.

• Caelee Criswell — Sr.

• Taylor Kaisler — Jr.

• Shelby McKee — Sr.

• Morgan Wille — Sr.

In March, the Little Snake River Valley School girls varsity basketball team took third place in the Wyoming 1A state tournament.

Two months later, the LSRV girls track and field team tied for first place at the state track meet.

Last month, the varsity volleyball team finished fourth at state.

With several retuning players who have competed on the big stage, Jodi Stanley, the girls basketball head coach, said this could be the season the Rattlers rise to the top alone.

“We are excited about this season,” Stanley said. “We lost two seniors to graduation, so we have some holes to fill, but I think we have the people to do it and if they step up, it will really complete things for our team.”

The Rattlers went 20-2 in the regular season last year before winning the Wyoming 1A West regional tournament.

But, in the state tournament, Stanley said her team was off.

“I think the game is as much mental as anything,” she said. “We shot 26 percent from the field against Cokeville and lost 32-30. We thought we were the best team in the state and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, and the nerves made us miss some opportunities.”

LSRV opened the season Friday in the Carbon County Classic Tournament with a 38-28 victory over Shoshoni. The Rattlers will continue tournament play today.

The Rattlers have six returning seniors and four returning starters.

Seniors Riley Adams, Caelee Criswell, Shelby McKee and Morgan Wille will be joined by junior Taylor Kaisler to make up the starting five.

With seniors Natalie Duncan and Callie Wilson coming off the bench, Stanley said if the players can fill their respective roles, they should be productive.

“Everyone except maybe Callie saw minutes and different situations last season,” she said. “It will be a challenge early to find the right roles, but I have confidence in the girls and if they have confidence in themselves, we will be capable of doing some good things.”

Last season, the Rattlers averaged 54 points a game and the defense never allowed more than 50 points, including 15 games with opponents scoring less than 30.

Stanley said the players’ athleticism and speed are the team’s biggest strengths.

“Morgan, Caelee and Shelby cause problems for opposing offenses because they combine quickness with being fast,” she said. “We like to get the ball out on offense and run the court, but on defense we can also play full court or half court and it creates havoc for other teams.”

Having a team consisting of players who have enjoyed success in the biggest games, Stanley said, is a nod to their work ethic.

With the seniors leading the way and underclassmen contributing, Stanley said LSRV has the pieces to make a run at a state title.

“We are more mature this season and I think it will only grow as the season progresses,” she said. “The girls need to trust in each and combine good shooting with good defense.

“It is not going to be an easy road, but we have set our goals pretty high.”

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