EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The East Grand Rapids girls basketball team has a new head coach this season, Troy Hammond, who was previously at Forest Hills Eastern. But despite some changes, the Pioneers have a number of key returning players.
"I think it`s helping our team a lot because we have a lot of experience and all the returners really know how to work together and the team is really meshing well, " senior Ella Gourley said.
Coach Hammond agreed. "Having Mickey Ivy back, having Olivia Brown back, class A all state honorable mention last year that goes a long way. We have some newcomers that have really done an outstanding job too. We really have a good core leadership on the team."
And for a team that was just 1-20 four years ago, the Pioneers are hoping to continue their momentum from the last couple of seasons into this season.
AND FOR A TEAM THAT WAS ONE AND TWENTY JUST FOUR YEARS AGO... THE PIONEERS ARE HOPING TO CARRY THEIR MOMENTUM FROM THE LAST COUPLE OF SEASONS INTO THIS SEASON...
Senior Mickayla Ivy said the growth has been outstanding. "Growing this whole team from like my freshman year to now. Being able to have different win streaks throughout the whole year is great since last year we were 17-4 so being able to have that big difference is just great to see."
The team also hopes to win the OK Gold over Grand Rapids Christian or South Christian this year.
OF COURSE WINNING CHAMPIONSHIPS STARTS WITH THE OK GOLD CONFERENCE... AND THE PIONEERS ARE HOPEFUL THEY CAN WIN THE BATTLE WITH GRAND RAPIDS CHRISTIAN THIS YEAR FOR THE TITLE...
"We've been working really hard in the offseason, " Olivia Brown added. "So I feel like we can achieve our goals as long as we believe in ourselves and keep working hard."
The team is now 4-1 after falling to East Kentwood on Tuesday, but said they were able to learn a lot from that game.
"I think it's a perfect game to play in December. It's a measuring stick game. I think they're ranked second in the state in Class A. " Coach Hammond saying they knew how good the Falcons would be. "And so for us to be able to see how we stack up at the this point and some of the things we did really well and then maybe some areas where we are maybe a little bit deficient right now, that's perfect in December to kind of have that measuring stick."