Against a taller opponent, Timberline High School girls basketball coach Zandrea Edenstrom wants her team to play fast, looking for the fast break and quick opportunity.
Against a quicker team, she wants her Blazers to play slow; use a patient, wait-for-the-open-shot approach.
“Our first option will be the fast break when it’s there,” Edenstrom said. “When it’s not, we’ll be able to set it up.”
With Sasha Weber and Camille Williams, a pair of first-team all-league guards who can score, and sweet-shooting center Cymone Martin, a transfer from Eugene, Ore., Timberline will have the ability to play either fast or slow.
That mix makes the Blazers a title contender in the 3A Narrows League.
Timberline won’t have to live or die on the scoring of Weber, who averaged 16 points last season as a sophomore. But the 5-foot-10 junior is a tough matchup and can provide instant offense.
With her jumping ability – she’s the 3A state champ in the high jump and holds the school record at 5-8 – she can pop jumpers from the outside or take a defender to the basket and score off the dribble.
“Sasha can take pretty much anybody if she’s on track,” Edenstrom said. “But sometimes she feels like she’s being selfish. I tell her it’s not being selfish if you can score for the team.”
She has scored 25 and 12 points in Timberline’s first two games this season – wins against Shelton and Olympia.
“Sasha has come in as a leader,” Edenstrom said. “We made her a team captain for the first game. She’s matured a lot.”
Weber is being recruited by a number of Division I schools, including California, UC Santa Barbara and Gonzaga.
But the Blazers’ offense isn’t bankrupt if Weber doesn’t score. Williams led Timberline with 13 points in a 52-47 win against Olympia on Friday. Martin added 11, and senior guard Kiley Hanratty scored 10 to give Timberline four players in double figures.
“Camille is a fiery player,” Edenstrom said. “She’s an aggressive player.”
At 5-11, Martin gives the Blazers a scorer, defender and rebounder inside – something previous Timberline teams were missing.
“We haven’t had a true post in a long time,” Edenstrom said. “She scores and rebounds in double digits. She’s strong, and she’s got strong inside moves.”
Timberline, which hosts Black Hills at 7 p.m. today, shot 50 percent in the season opener and has improved its shooting.
“Last year, we were a terrible shooting team,” Edenstrom said. “We’re a decent shooting team now. It’s just if they’re taking good shots.”
After finishing 12-10 last season and losing in the first round of the district playoffs, Timberline has committed to getting better by attending offseason camps and playing in summer leagues.
“They felt as though last season ended with unfinished business and they have high expectations of themselves this year,” Edenstrom said. “We look forward to going to state this year.”