TORRINGTON – The Eastern Wyoming College women’s basketball team faces the challenge of replacing four of the top five scorers from last season’s 24-9 squad.
Gone are Abril Rexach Roure, Ines Salat Margarit, Nicole Cutler and Emily Buchanan. Those four combined to average 47.9 points.
With four players returning and eight new faces, it’s been a learning curve for the much younger Lady Lancer squad as they are into their third week of practice, heading into the Nov. 1-2 trip to the Snow College (Utah) Tournament.
“We are in the learning process. We have a lot of new players,” coach Tom Andersen said. “A lot of it is teaching, not only fundamentals, but our offensive sets and our defensive schemes. We are concentrating on that part of the game right now.”
The sophomores of Paula Martinez Sanz, Barbara Trehub, McKenzie Becker and Mar Bastida Olivares are back and bring a mix of size and deep shooting abilities to the table.
“We have four solid players back that we are building around,” Andersen said. “We obviously are going to need contributions from the new players, as well.”
Sanz is the top returning scorer back, averaging 11.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, while Becker averaged 7.2 points.
Once again, the Lady Lancers will have a guard heavy presence on the court despite being overall a taller squad.
Leading the way for the newcomers is the guard duo of Emma Strom and Ane Esnae Aguirre, who are battling for the point guard spot.
“They are both capable. They are both good ball handlers,” Anderson said. “We are expecting some good stuff out of them.”
Also is a pair of 6 footers in Emilia Axelsson and Monste Gutierrez Ibanez, who are more of a wing player, shooting threes and driving to the hoop.
Meanwhile, Mariana Zanelatto Minotto will provide added inside presence for the Lady Lancers at 5 feet, 11 inches.
“Mariana is going to be a strong inside player for us,” Andersen said. “We are trying to develop her into that role.”
EWC will also look to redshirt freshman Jada Ybarra, Gering, Neb. native Paige Lopez and Raleigh Basart to contribute this season.
“Everybody has their strengths and weakness at this point,” Andersen said. “We are trying to build on both those areas and mesh them together.”
Despite the new faces, Andersen feels the Lady Lancers will be right in the hunt again during the 2019-20 season.
“The region is going to be really good again. The North is going to be strong. WNCC is going to be good again,” he said. “It’s going to be a dogfight, I think we’ll be right in the thick of things. That’s obviously our goal every year.”