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|Paynesville Press - November 22, 2006|
Hoopsters to hit court next week for first game
The Bulldogs girls' basketball team will open its 2006-07 season with a nonconference game at Kimball on Tuesday, Nov. 28.|
Team practice started on Monday, Nov. 13, with 22 players in grades 9-12 reporting. The varsity rotation and the junior varsity and C-squad rosters are still being decided during preseason practice.
The varsity, which finished 7-15 last year, lost five seniors, including leading scorer Brooke Schmitz (11.5 points per game) and starters Ashley and Lynn Lieser.
Senior Kristin Lang, however, returns after missing all of last season due to injury. Senior Jacque Schlangen (third on the team last year in scoring with 8.3 points per game) and Lang lead the contingent of posts this year, along with junior Natalie Leadem and sophomore JessiccaLee Klein.
On the outside, junior Brittni Schmitz leads returning players in scoring, having averaged 10.9 points per game last year. Seniors Marissa Mackedanz and Kirsten Miller saw varsity action last year and should contribute on the wings, as well as juniors Laura Schaefer and Carissa Utsch and senior Randi Schaefer (who also could play post, if needed). Coach Jackie Parsley hopes the team's strength in the post this year will be a focal point for the offense and create open outside shots for the guards. On defense, the Dogs might play a little more zone this year, said Parsley, to take advantage of their height. They also might press teams.
"I think if our girls keep working hard, like they have been during the past week, we can surprise a lot of teams," said Parsley.
With smaller numbers (22 in grades 9-12), some shuffling will be required to field three teams this year, but Parsley hopes that the junior varsity and C-squad will play full schedules, meaning lots of playing time for all.
Amber Michaelis will coach the junior varsity this year, and high school teacher Jen Andrist will coach the C-squad.
Albany and New London-Spicer, who each had a sophomore named co-MVP of the West Central Conference North last year, return as the conference favorites. Parsley said the conference looks to be tough all the way around again this year.
Eden Valley-Watkins and NL-S are the subsection favorites, with Parsley listing Howard Lake-Waverly and Maple Lake as sleepers. In listing goals for their season, the Bulldogs players mentioned winning more games than last year, having fun, having good team chemistry, and wanting to work hard to reach their potential.
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