It was quite a run for the Charles Page High School girls basketball team last season. A group of six seniors — Destiny Johnson, Jacie Taber, Holly Kersgieter, Ashlee Bunch, Isabella Regalado and Daniela Solis — guided the Sandites to a 21-5 season and a trip to the state tournament.
Now those girls are gone, and the Sandites will look to new coach Josh Berry to help replicate recent success, and he has a few girls that he plans to lean on.
“Offense will be a joint effort along,” said Berry, who most recently coached boys basketball at Muskogee. “Madison Burris, Darian Jordan and Raegan Padilla are returners with some game experience, along with move-in Journey Armstead, will be called upon to do a lot of play-making. But we have many others than can knock down 3-point shots that should help with spacing the floor.”
Berry pointed to this year’s depth as the Sandites’ recipe for success.
“Madison Burris will have a huge roll in filling those shoes which are pretty big ones but she will have plenty of help,” Berry said. “Sophomore move-in Journey Armstead and Freshman Hailey Jackson will be big additions for this year. We have a few other sophomores, juniors, seniors, and freshmen that will play big rolls, as well Sophia Regalado (Bella Regalado’s little sister) will be huge help. Our strength will be in our numbers and hustle.”
For Berry, it’s a season of transitioning back to girls basketball — where he’s enjoyed success in the past.
“I coached the Rogers High School girls from 2009 to 2012 and made a state tournament appearance in 2011 — the first in 20 plus years of the school. I also coached women’s basketball for one year at Independence Community College,” Berry said. “I think I should be familiar with the conference and I coached against some of these great coaches before in my past, either on the girls or boys side. This is a tough year to be losing as many good seniors as we did in this already brutal conference schedule.”
But Berry has established some aspirations as the regular season approaches as the end of the month.
“We have one goal every day: to be better that day than we were the day before,” Berry said.
Berry takes over for Tobey Nightingale who spent one year as the Sandite girls head coach.