By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
Three freshman started and five saw action on the Charles Page High School ladies' basketball team this season and all were major players in pushing a turn-around program the final step into their first winning season in half a decade.
The program pulled a complete 180 after a 2011 State Tournament-appearing team graduated several starters and won only a single game the following year. 2012-2013 wasn't much better, posting a 2-20 record.
In 2013, Dustin Morrow took over the program and the team went 10-14, a drastic improvement, but still a losing record. Last season the girls won the regular season but went 1-2 in the playoffs for a final record of 12-12. The eighth grade girls, however, went 28-0 for an undefeated Frontier Valley Conference Championship.
This season those girls were the difference makers, adding depth to a small but talented team that lost three players the year before. Jacie Taber, Holly Kersgieter, Destiny Johnson, Kimi Presnall, and Isabella Regalado combined for 40% of the team's points this season with Johnson coming in as the second-highest scoring player on the whole team.
"DJ" Johnson continued a new tradition of freshman excellence. For the last three years, at least one freshman has registered a 200+ point season. Sydney Pennington debuted with 376 in 2012-2013, Gloria Mutiri scored 200 last season, and Johnson finished with 212 this year. She was a major inside threat, shooting 46% on two-pointers and 67% on free throws for an average of 8 points and 3 rebounds per game. She doubled nine times, led her team in scoring four times, and set a personal-best of 15 points against Owasso. She was also named to the All-Tournament team at the Bishop Kelley Invitational.
Jacie Taber and Kimi Presnall also made an impact on the State Runner-Up Softball team this fall, then scored 21 points each in their first year at varsity basketball.
Isabella Regalado, daughter of Vic Regalado, the Republican nominee for Tulsa County Sheriff, scored 90 points, more than 3 PPG, and set a team-high career-high of 17 in an upset win over 5A No.4 ranked Shawnee in the championship game at the Bishop Kelley Invitational. She averaged 41% on two-pointers, 50% on free throws, and snatched about 2.5 rebounds per-game, and saw action in every game this season.
Holly Kersgieter came in fourth in team-scoring with 166 points and a career-high 14 against Shawnee. Playing in every game this season, and starting most of them, she averaged 6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 45% on two-pointers and 79% on free throws.
The depth of quality competitors allowed the Sandites to run a solid bench against their opponents and give the whole team more resting time during games. The young Sandite talent will only increase next year as the girls only graduate one starter, Cierra Scott, and inherit yet another incoming class of undefeated 8th grade girls.