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New coach to lead Railer girls

Mark Schnabel
mschnabel@thekansan.com
Newton senior Lexi Valle-Ponds is the sole senior returning starter for the Railers.

A new coach will be leading the Newton High School girls’ basketball team into the 2020-21 season.

Tavis Leake II takes over from Kate Bremmerman, who stepped down to accepts an administrative position in the district.

A Sterling College grad, he coached eighth-grade boys and junior varsity boys at Newton, as well as freshman boys at Wichita Northwest.

He is assisted by John Hansberry (varsity assistant), Carley Childs (junior varsity) and Max Switzer (freshmen).

Newton was 1-19 last season, 1-11 in Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I play.

Four starters return for the Railers — Alexis Epp (5-7, jr., P), Hayley Loewen (5-9, jr., F), Olivia Antonowich (5-6, so., G) and Lexi Valle-Ponds (5-5, sr., G).

Other returning letterwinners include Maylee Edwards (5-5, sr., G), Piper Seidl (5-5, so., G) and Gracie Hendrickson (5-5, so., G).

Looking to move up from the JV ranks include Camryn Entz (5-7, so., G), Kati Blaylock (5-9, sr., P) and Alexia Hernandez (5-8, G).

Marah Zenner (5-5, sr., G) returns to the team after taking last year off.

A top newcomer is Abigail Koontz (5-2, fr., G).

“This year will truly be a year of growth for the Lady Railers Basketball team,” Leake II said. “They are adapting very quickly to a new style of play. We understand everything our program gains will be earned and not given through our hard work daily. We plan on being scrappy on defense and patient/effective on offense.”

Leake II looks for Derby, newcomer Maize South and Maize to be among the top contenders in the AV-CTL I this season.

Top non-league opponents include Dodge City, McPherson and Valley Center.

Schedule

(subject to change)

Dec. 5 @ Dodge City (Dodge City Civic Center)

Dec. 8 @ McPherson

Dec. 10-12 @ GWAC-AV-CTL Challenge:

Boys TBA

Dec. 11 vs. Wichita North @ Wichita Heights (G 6 p.m.)

Dec. 15 Hutchinson

Dec. 18 Campus

Dec. 21 @ Maize South

Jan. 8 Valley Center

Jan. 12 Salina South

Jan. 15 @ Derby

Jan. 21-23 @ Dodge City TOC (B) TBA

Jan. 28-30 Newton Inv. (G) TBA

Feb. 2 @ Maize

Feb. 5 @ Hutchinson

Feb. 9 @ Campus

Feb. 12 Maize South

Feb. 16 Derby

Feb. 19 @ Salina South

Feb. 23 Salina Central

Feb. 26 Maize

March 2-6 Sub-State TBA

March 10-13 State @ White Auditorium, Emporia