CANTON – It was a rough 2021-22 season for the Canton/Galva girls basketball program as they switched coaches midseason and won just three games.
Now we enter the 2022-23 season with the Lady Eagles once again looking to the leadership of a new head coach as Brad Willems takes over the reigns of the program with hopes of turning the misfortunes of the past 16 seasons around into successful seasons ahead.
Coach Willems previously spent a couple of seasons in charge of the girls program at Sharon Springs (Wallace County) where he went 23-24. Willems will be assisted by Jose Espinoza.
It may be a tough road ahead as the Canton/Galva girls have recorded ten-plus win seasons or winning records in but two of the past 16 seasons with the last one coming in 2018-19 when they recorded 12 victories.
One plus could be that the Lady Eagles graduated just one senior off last years team and that was Nicole Miller.
For the 2022-23 season the Lady Eagles will be led by four seniors who spent last season leading the team in nearly every statistical category. The seniors will be mixed in with one strong sophomore and what coach Willems says is a fine group of freshman.
Mimi Craig returns as the team’s leading scorer a year ago with 7.6 points per game while also leading the play in the paint with 5.5 rebounds per game as well.
Lili Espinoza is another senior who scored 5.1 points per game in 2021-22 while hauling in 4.9 rebounds, dishing out 1.6 assists and making 1.7 steals each outing as well.
Brecken Pearson averaged 4.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game in her junior season and Sage Toews hit for 3.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game as well in her junior season.
Joining the four key seniors in coach Willems rebuild will be sophomore Red Craig who took down 4.6 rebounds and averaged 2.4 points per game last season as just a freshman.
If freshman Trinity Espinoza can do for the basketball team what she did with the volleyball team, the coach Willems will have another strong player to build successes around.
“Keep an eye on the whole team this season as we had a really good summer together,” said coach Willems when voicing his reflections on the upcoming season. “I am not looking at just wins and losses, I want us to compete in every game we play. We will play with passion and energy.”
The Lady Eagles open the 2022-23 season on Friday, December 2, hosting Rural Vista.
The 2022-23 Lady Eagle Schedule:
Friday, 12/2 > host Rural Vista
Monday-Saturday, 12/5-10 > at Goessel Tournament
Monday, 12/12 > host Marion
Tuesday, 12/13 > host Lyons
Friday, 12/16 > at Centre
Tuesday, 12/20 > host Wakefield
Friday, 1/6/23 > at Elyria Christian
Monday, 1/9 > host Burrton
Tuesday, 1/10 > at Solomon
Friday, 1/13 > host Goessel
Monday-Friday, 1/23-27 > at Fairfield Girls Tournament
Tuesday, 1/31 > at Herington
Friday, 2/3 > host Peabody/Burns
Tuesday, 2/7 > host Little River
Friday, 2/10 > at Rural Vista
Tuesday, 2/14 > host Central Christian Academy
Thursday, 2/16 > host Central Plains (Senior Night)
Monday-Saturday, 2/27-3/4 > Sub-State
Wednesday-Saturday, 3/8-11 > State Tournament at Dodge City
(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)