After a record-setting 13 wins in his debut season directing the Quest Kermodes women’s basketball team, Dany Charlery is looking to build in his second year at the helm of the program.
But after a disappointing opening-round loss to the Kwantlen Eagles in the first round of the Pacwest playoffs last season, he said there’s still a lot to work on.
“I have the same feeling that I had last year — I don’t really know what to expect,” he said, laughing. “The idea and philosophy of our team is still the same, but I think we have more talent than last year. We do lack a little maturity though, especially at the point guard position.”
The Kermodes lost graduating players Delainee Behrns, Soraya Jung and Rachel Poon but Charlery noted that he expects big things out of his four new recruits.
The foursome making their debut in the Kermode Kave are guard Abbey Piazza from Victoria, Tessa Needham from Coquitlam, Miriam Baumann from Montreal and Aimee Johnston from Brandon, Man. Charlery, who starred for Brandon in his playing days, said his connections in the town alerted him to Johnston’s availability.
“I was calling some friends out there to see if there were any talents and it just worked out,” he said, noting Johnston’s sister played on the women’s team in Brandon when Charlery last played there in 2010. “She’s almost six feet tall, can play inside and outside and shoot the three. And Baumann is very athletic and should be a nice fit. All four of these new recruits should bring a lot to the team.”
As for the team’s starting lineup — it’s still up in the air. Charlery said he has a lot of depth and still hasn’t decided.
“We’ve used a different starting lineup in every exhibition and preseason game we’ve had so far,” he said. “We have depth this year and almost everyone has played at least 10 minutes in every game. I think this year I can put anyone in and not lose too much.”
Guard Andrea Eidsvik will get a fair amount of time at the point guard position, with veteran leaders Shayna Cameron, Katrin Sandbichler and Courtney Harpur all expected to play significant roles. Charlery said playoffs are a must for the team.
“I wouldn’t expect anything less than a playoff appearance,” he said. “But I want to a least get past the first round this year.”
With the CCAA men’s nationals coming to Squamish in March, much of the focus will be on the men’s team’s path to the finals. Charlery said he doesn’t want anyone forgetting about his team.
“Our attitude is that the guys have a free ticket to nationals but we want to earn ours,” he said. “We don’t want to be here when they host because we want to be at ours.”
But he isn’t overlooking the Pacwest. Charlery said he expects stiff competition, with teams like Langara, VIU, Capilano and Camosun looking tough.
Charlery said another goal of his is to get the community more involved with the team. He said he’s looking to start a local basketball camp with boys and girls from Squamish to play over the summer and build interest in the sport.
“Hopefully we can get some talent building around here,” he said.
The women’s team kicks off the season in North Vancouver on Friday (Nov. 1) against arch-rival Capilano. The home opener occurs on Nov. 8 against Douglas College.
For more information on the team, visit www.questkermodes.ca.