Girls basketball: raise your hoops for the season

Mali Bacig, Features Editor

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Last season the girls basketball team saw quite a bit of success, finishing the season with a 21-7 record. This year, however, they are already facing a few new challenges. The team lost  four of their starting lineup. And there were seven graduating  seniors last year.Although there was a large loss of leaders, this year’s seniors are already stepping up. “We had great leaders last year, but our current seniors are already stepping into their shoes and doing a great job directing our team.  All five of our seniors are captains, Katie McDaniels, Maddie Hulcher, Paige Thayer, Martha Kauls, and Lauren Saemrow,” said Dave Montgomery, head coach.

The significant loss in the starting lineup is not the only thing affecting the numbers on the team. After tryouts, the varsity team had 17 girls on the roster, three fewer than the previous year. Two weeks into the season, the team was already down to four players due to a combination of injury and players quitting. Two team members quit, one due to a serious injury, and two others are injured and will be out for part of the season.

“Obviously it’s not fun to have injuries, but we’ve done well without them and our girls have done a great job adjusting and rolling with things,” said Montgomery.

The team has had to do some adjusting to accommodate having a smaller team. “Since we do have lower numbers this year, we really depend on each other a lot more and I feel Like everyone has really stepped up,” said Senior Captain Lauren Saemrow. “We recently pulled up Nicole Wolf and Nicole Wahlin to JV/Varsity, so we are really excited to have them as a part of the team!” said Saemrow. There are now six underclassmen on the team, only one more than the previous year.

Although the team is facing these initial obstacles, players and coaches alike are optimistic about the season.

“I think this season will be great and super fun! We have good outside shooting all around, good ball handlers, and stud posts inside,” said Senior Captain Katie McDaniels.

Montgomery is confident in his players and their skills, and believes that their season will be quite good. “Our guards are pretty quick and athletic–Katie [McDaniels], Erika Johnson, Jacky Volkert, Olivia Fixsen, Marnie Zilka.  They can all really pressure the ball and create turnovers.  We should be solid inside–Maddie [Hultcher] has really come on strong this year and Martha [Kauls] is one of the best shooters on our team.  Lauren [Saemrow] is a hard working and physical player–we’ll need her rebounding.  Paige [Thayer] is a really smart player–she probably cuts better than anyone on our team,” said Montgomery.

The team had their first game on Tuesday, November 27th against St. Cloud Tech. The girls won with a final score of 52-43. When asked about the game, Montgomery only had positive things to say, “ We played great as a team, getting very solid contributions from everyone.”

Their first home game was on Thursday, November 29th against Tartan. The game was fast paced and exciting. The two teams were neck and neck for the whole game. Unfortunately, Mounds View couldn’t clinch the win; they lost 65-59. The teams next game is on December 1st at 11:30 against Simley; it is an away game.

Although the girls basketball season started with a few hiccups, the optimism and excitement surrounding the season is clear. The girls are ready to play no matter what is thrown at them.

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