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Paynesville Press - November 20, 2002

Bulldogs ready to start basketball season

By Ann Stalboerger

The sweet sound of "nothing but net" once again can be heard echoing through the gyms of Paynesville Area High School. The girls' basketball team has been preparing for another dynamite season.

Practice started on Monday, Nov. 11, but the girls have been working hard long before. Summer leagues, open gyms, and pumping iron in the fitness center have kept the girls busy and in shape for the upcoming season.

The season outlook is a good one this year, with some key returning players and a lot of young talent coming up, according to head coach Ric Koehn. Returning varsity players this year are seniors Hannah Braun, Danielle Lieser, Ann Stalboerger, and junior Amanda Glenz.

Glenz averaged 10.6 points per game last year and 8.0 rebounds per game. Lieser averaged 5.1 points per game, and Stalboerger averaged 4.0 points per game. Lieser made 20 three-pointers and Stalboerger made nine.

Sophomores Kim Hess and Kendra Johnson will add some speed to the Dogs' lineup and help push the ball up court. Senior Katie Herding, juniors Bridgette Johnson, Julie Stockholm, Cahlean Klenke, and Peggy Thompson, and ninth grader Brooke Schmitz will also be adding their talent to the squad this year.

"Albany looks tough again this year, but after that, our conference is pretty wide open. It's anybody's game," said Koehn.

Litchfield, usually a tough competitor, is out of the West Central Conference North this year. In place of them, the Bulldogs added some nonconference games against Pine River and Maple Lake in order to gain more experience for later in the season.

The team has high hopes and expectations this year, including having a winning record and getting to the subsection finals. Last year, the Dogs fell short of those two goals, having a record of 10-13 only and losing to eventual state champion New London-Spicer in the second round of the subsection playoffs.

"I really hope to be over .500 and to have awesome team chemistry," said Braun.

On Friday, the girls will attend an overnight retreat at the Lake Koronis Assembly Grounds to improve team chemistry and bonding. According to Koehn, in order to be successful this year, the girls need to think and work together as a team, not as individuals.

The Bulldogs traveled to Sauk Centre on Saturday, Nov. 16, to scrimmage Royalton, Osakis, Sauk Centre, and Browerville.

Their first game will be on Tuesday, Nov. 26, at Kimball, against the state-rated Cubs.

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