Grizzly women begin basketball season with Saturday afternoon exhibition
by Chris Day
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Five upperclassmen that have combined to make 245 career starts, will mix with nine new athletic freshman on an up-and-coming 2007 Adams State College women’s basketball team under the direction of second-year head coach Kelly Kruger.
That team begins the season Saturday afternoon with an exhibition game against the Division I University of Denver at the Pioneers’ Magness Arena. Tip-off is at 2 p.m. and can be heard on KSPK-FM (103.5 & 104.1 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.
Live statistics are also scheduled to be available on DU’s website.
The Grizzlies then tip-off the regular season on Nov. 16 & 17 by hosting the Grizzly Tip-Off Classic.
ASC will be led by senior guards Erica Marquez (Taos, N.M.) and Laurel Mortensen (Craig, Colo.), who have not yet played together in an official game. Marquez, who has started 81 career games, was a 2006 Honorable Mention All-RMAC West pick in 2005-06 but missed all of last year with a knee injury. Mortensen, who has 52 career starts, picked up the slack earning Second Team All-RMAC West honors for the Grizzlies in 2006-07 after missing the year prior with an injury of her own.
Juniors Jocelyn Pardilla (Dededo, Guam), Nicole Tatum (Rio Rancho, N.M.) and Brandie Telfer (Craig, Colo.) also bring a ton of experience to the floor.
Mortensen averaged 11.4 points per game to lead the 2006-07 team while Tatum averaged 10.2 and a team-high 6.4 rebounds per game. Telfer averaged 6.2 caroms per game and led the team with a 52.1 field goal percentage. Pardilla dished out a team-high 96 assists in 2006-07.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies will have plenty of youth in a group of freshman that includes Kelsie Kruger (Alamosa, Colo.), the coach's daughter. Alamosa native Crystal Loch (Alamosa, Colo.) is also a newcomer to the squad, that could feature Caley and Courtney Fisher (Littleton, Colo.), talented twins from Mountain Vista High School, Kendra Coveal, the Albuquerque (N.M.) Player of the Year, and Vera Jo Bustos, a Las Vegas, N.M. product who scored a West Las Vegas High School record 2,098 points during her prep career.
Freshmen Chloe Cable (Glendale, Ariz.) and Vanessa Wesolowski, who hails from Chestermere, Alberta, Canada will also give the Grizzlies some good height as each stands 6-feet.
Kara Tafoya (Santa Clara Pueblo, N.M.) will also give the Grizzlies some depth the guard position after earning four all-district honors at Pojoaque High School.
Although Saturday’s game will not count on the overall record, it gives Kruger and his assistant coaches a chance to see the team in action against a talented opponent.
The Pioneers are coming off a 20-11 season and return 11 players from that squad. They were picked to finish second in the Sun Belt Conference’s West Division and return four starters, including Second Team Preseason All-SBC selection Alisha Godette, who averaged 9.9 points and a team-high 5.8 rebounds per game in 2006-07.
Godette scored a game-high 15 points as the Pioneers won a 58-43 Thursday night exhibition game over Colorado State-Pueblo, picked to win the RMAC’s West Division.