Har-Ber girls basketball is a program on the rise as young stars aim to lead Wildcats on deep playoff run

Over the next few weeks, SBLive Arkansas will break down every 6A boys and girls basketball team in the state entering the 2020-21 season. Here’s our look at the Har-Ber Wildcats girls.

Galatia Andrew (defending) photo courtesy of Har-Ber High School

HAR-BER TEAM PAGE | 2020-21 SCHEDULE

HEAD COACH

Kimberly Jenkins, third season (30-25)

2019-20 AT A GLANCE

Overall record: 21-8

Conference record: 10-4 (third place in 6A West)

Playoffs: Lost in quarterfinals

ALL-STATE PLAYERS DEPARTED

None

PLAYERS TO WATCH

G Kania Starks, sr., 5-3

A three-year starting point guard and multi-sport athlete, Starks is receiving junior college interest for basketball. She is a high-motor player and ferocious competitor on the defensive end. “She will be a key to our defense and making good decisions,” Jenkins said. 

G Caylan Koons, jr., 5-9

Koons is another three-year starter who made the all-state team as a sophomore after averaging 15.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and two steals per game while shooting 43 percent from three-point range. She holds an offer from Harding University. “She’s a great kid, great student, can shoot lights out, defends, assists, rebounds and is a great teammate,” Jenkins said. 

F Pacious McDaniel, so., 5-9

McDaniel burst onto the scene as a freshman last season, averaging 13.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 2.1 steals en route to all-state honors. “Great kid, super athletic,” Jenkins said. “She’s the best defender I’ve ever coached in 24 years of coaching. Her potential is ridiculous.” 

OUTLOOK

The sky is the limit for Har-Ber, which placed third in the 6A West a season ago with a roster full of underclassmen. The youth movement will be ongoing this winter as the Wildcats have three sophomores playing major minutes in McDaniel, Galatia Andrew and Mary Blake Martfeld.

“We were super young last year, had a good year overall and got a ton of experience for our young players,” Jenkins said. “So, this year, we need to take a step forward and use that experience to feel a little more settled and confident.”

Har-Ber should be dangerous on offense as Koons and McDaniel are proven scorers. The Wildcats want to play fast and have excellent team chemistry, Jenkins said.

“I would hope another strength would be our defensive intensity,” Jenkins added. “A weakness would be our size at our guard positions. We need to do a better job attacking and passing through on offense and using our lack of size to heat the ball up on defense.”

Coming off a nine-win season in 2018-19, Har-Ber jumped to 21 victories last winter and picked up a playoff win over Mount St. Mary Academy. With multiple star players back, the Wildcats have the potential to advance even further in the state tournament this season.

“Our expectations would be to finish above where we did in our conference last year and get better every day so we can be a contender in the 6A state tournament,” Jenkins said. 

COACH SAID 

“We need to stay healthy and stay connected. We need to play some basketball and stay positive in this crazy world so we can manage the improvement that our young team still needs to do.” — Kimberly Jenkins

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