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Area girls basketball players are already doing battle with the dream of a championship being a very real possibility for some teams.

2011 area girls basketball glance

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West Central Tribune
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2011 area girls basketball glance
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Tribune Staff Report

Winter really hasn't hit home in Central Minnesota but girls basketball has, and several teams and players are already making their marks.

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There's Teagan Molden and the 6-1 MACCRAY Wolverines and Jessica De Groot and 6-2 Central Minnesota Christian racing to the top of the Camden Conference. CMCS took the first game against the Wolverines and their Feb. 2 game will be hotly anticipated.

The Hancock Owls lost a double-overtime heartbreaker in the state semifinals last year, and they appear determined to get back for another crack at it. Led my Kendra Schmidgall, the Owls are 5-0 and are winning by an average of 28 points per game.

Yellow Medicine East has several players back from last year's 20-win outfit and the Sting are 4-1. And while long-time New London-Spicer head coach Mike Dreier said his team is rebuilding this season, the Wildcats are 4-1.

A season of promise lies ahead for some area teams and others will deal with disappointments, but they -- and their fans -- won't soon forget it all.

Here are brief capsules of 20 area teams:

ACGC

Coach: Adam Schumacher

2010-11 record: 17-9

Current record: 0-0 West Central South, 0-5 overall

Key players: Katie Knisley (13 ppg, 11 rpg); Paige Wilner (4 ppg, 2.5 apg); Chelsea Jans (7 ppg, 5 rpg); Sydney Larson (12 ppg, 7 rpg)

Coach's comments: Our expectations for this group are very lofty. We return a lot of experience and have some playmakers at different positions. We should be a team that is competetive every night out as we were in every game we played last year except one.

Belgrade-

Brooten-Elrosa

Coach: Greg Hagen

2010-2011 record: 14-13

Current record: 0-2 Central Minnesota, 1-5 overall

Key players: Raeann Sorenson (5-9 senior, 15.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.6 apg, 2.3 spg); Taylor Braegelman (5-9 junior, 2 ppg, 5.5 rpg).

Benson

Coach: Chelsea Stiel

2010-11 record: 20-8

Current record: 1-1 West Central South, 2-5 overall

Key players: Emma Peterson (junior guard, 15 ppg 4.8 rpg, 2.3 apg, 3.5 spg); Kenzie Jensen (senior guard); Samantha Goff (senior post, 5 rpg); Alexa Nissen (junior guard)

Coach's comments: Great group of girls, very coachable and hard working. Braves lost several key players but Emma Peterson plays at a high level in all aspects of the game. Varsity experience will be a weakness.

BOLD

Coach: Brian Kingery

2010-11 record: 11-15

Current record: 0-2 West Central South, 1-6 overall

Key players: Nikki Neisen (6-1 senior post, 2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2 apg); Taylor Ebnet (5-7 junior guard, 4.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2 apg); Carly Sigurdson (5-7 sophomore guard, 8.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3 apg ); Baylie Kubesh (5-8 sophomore guard, 4.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1 apg)

Coach's comments: We expect to be competitive in the West Central South. We have a young, quick team lead by our guard play.

Buffalo Lake-Hector/Stewart

Coach: Josh Tjosaas

2010-11 record: 20-6

Current record: 1-2 Tomahawk, 4-3 overall

Key players: Jessie Kalenberg (5-6 senior, 7.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.5 spg); Courtney Kramer (5-8 senior, 5.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg); Remi Werner (5-8 senior, 6.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg); Kate Buboltz (5-5 senior) Aryel Smith (5-10 senior); Hannah VanderVoort (5-5 sophomore); Mikayla Paulson (6-0 junior); Michelle Melsha (6-0 sophomore)

Coach's comments: We have 30 players out for basketball in grades8-12, so numbers are great and we look to have solid teams for many years with good depth and upcoming grades with plenty of height. We will be able to play a variety of styles of offense and defense. We will try to play a very uptempo style to take advantage of our athleticism.

Central Minnesota Christian

Coach: Bryan De Groot

2010-11 record: 15-8

Current record: 5-1 Camden, 6-2 overall

Key players: Returning two-year starters and captains Jessica De Groot and Heather Blom were both All-Camden Conference selections last year. De Groot led the Bluejays in scoring, field goal shooting percentage, and steals. Blom led the Bluejays in assists, free throw shooting, third in scoring and third in rebounds. Freshman Alexis Scott led the Bluejays in rebounding as an 8th.

Coach's comments: The Bluejays will be very young and undersized compared to most teams, however they have a lot of talent and play with good team speed.

Dawson-Boyd

Coach: Randy Haakenson

2010-2011 record: 12-11

Current record: 2-2 Camden, 2-3 overall

Key players: Mari Lee (6-0 junior); Kaitlin Johnshoy (5-6 senior); Justine Lee (5-7 freshman); Sadie Zaiser (5-6 sophomore); Sarah Zaiser (5-8 senior); Sara Melom (5-10 senior)

Hancock

Coach: Jodi Holleman

2010-2011 record: 27-4

Current record: 2-0 Pheasant, 5-0 overall

Key players: Kendra Schmidgall (6-2 senior, 15 ppg, 6 rpg); Courtney Greiner (6-1 junior, 11 ppg, 6.5 rpg); Shae Brown (5-4 junior, 5 ppg, 2 apg); Serandon Bigalke (5-4 junior); Olivia Koehl (5-5 senior)

KMS

Coach: Brady DeBaere

2010-11 Record: 17-7 overall

Current record: 2-3 Camden, 2-4 overall

Key players: Ellen Johnson (senior forward, 7.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.8 spg); Brielle Hauge (senior guard, 1.4 ppg. 1.3 rpg); Ali Clark (junior center, 2.1 ppg, 4 rpg); Samantha Dunn (junior guard, 9.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2.8 spg)

Coach's comments: A team strength will be depth but a team weakness with be varsity experience

Lac qui Parle Valley

Coach: Ryan Giles

2010-11 record: 13-12

Current record: 2-0 West Central South, 4-2 overall

Key players: Jen Kack (5-8 senior guard); Katie Deyo (5-10 senior forward); Jenna Weber (5-7 senior guard); Jordan Halvorson (6-0 junior post); Mackenzie Clark (5-6 junior guard)

Litchfield

Coach: Bill Huhner

2010-2011 record: 9-17

Current record: 0-1 Wright County, 4-1 overall

Key players: Greta Walsh (11.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2.4 spg); Shelbie Walsh (9.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg); Bailey Koch (8.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg).

MACCRAY

Coach: Dale Peterson

2010-11 record: 20-7

Current record: 4-1 Camden, 6-1 overall

Key players: Teagan Molden (13 ppg, 6 rpg, 3.5 apg last year); Abbey Thissen (11 ppg, 10.3 rpg); Paige Schwitters (5-foot-9 post); Paige Ammerman (5-5 guard)

Coach's comments: Strengths are experience, with seven seniors on roster. Team has good size and overall team quickness. Weakness is overall depth. "I believe we will be very competitive and should be in the mix for conference and sub section titles."

Minnewaska Area

Coach: Brett Thorfinnson

2010-11 record: 1-24

Current record: 0-0 West Central North, 2-4 overall

Key players: Sydney Joos (7 ppg, 7 rpg); Kaylee Jacobs (5.8 ppg, 6 rpg)

Montevideo

Coach: Jamie Harrington

2010-11 record: 3-21

Current record: 0-1 West Central South, 1-5 overall

Key players: Ashley Hoehne (5-8 senior forward); Tia Diggins 95-8 junior guard, 9 ppg, 7 rpg, 3 apg); Kelsey Amborn (5-8 senior guard, 4 ppg, 2 rpg), Alyssa Doty (5-8 senior guard); Kendyl Anderson (5-9 senior guard, 3 ppg., 2 rpg, 2 apg).

Coach's comments: Seniors Dani Emkes (5-9) and Julia Longworth (5-9) will provide depth.

Morris/CA

Coach: Dale Henrich

2010-11 record: 8-16

Current record: 2-1 West Central South, 3-3 overall

Key players: Senior Holly Amundson; junior Katie Holzheimer; sophomore Beth Holland

Coach's comments: We have one girl that started one game last year, other than that we are returning no starters.

New London-Spicer

Coach: Mike Dreier

2010-11 record: 25-3

Current record: 0-0 West Central North, 4-1 overall

Key players: Taylor Thunstedt (17.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 3spg); Amanda Radel (7 ppg, 5 apg, 2 spg) ; Lydia Kieft; Olivia Setterberg; Brianna Fredrick; Reiley Ness

Coach's comments: "We lost six of our top eight players to graduation. We will be in a major rebuilding mode this year."

Paynesville

Coach: Jacob Heimerman

2010-2011 record: 9-15

Current record: 0-0 West Central North, 5-1 overall

Key players: Andrea Schlangen (5-5 senior, 8.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.3 apg, 3.8 spg); Bryanna Burg (5-8 junior, 7.7 ppg, 3 rpg, 2 spg); Kayla Schaefer (5-10 freshman, 7 ppg, 4 rpg); Brooke Wuertz (5-5 junior, 8 ppg, 3 rpg); Erika Schlangen (5 ppg)

Renville County West

Coach: Danny Hup

2010-11 record 4-18

Current record: 0-4 Camden, 2-5 overall

Key players: Taylor Sharpe (5-5 point guard); Emma Fischer (5-3 senior guard); Chelsea Ahl (5-10 senior post); Grace Robertson (5-10 junior forward); Sadie Treml (5-8 sophomore guard); Nora Kronlokken (5-8 sophomore forward)

Coach's comments: We should improve throughout the season. We have some young players playing this season and really only one player returning. We aren't a tall team so we will have to rely on quickness and outworking our opponents to be successful.

Willmar

Coach: Brad Atchison

2010-11 record: 14-10

Current record: 2-1 Central Lakes, 3-3 overall

Key players: Katie Lippert; Addy Nelson; Laura Schwartz; Lindsey Atchison; Megan Skalla; Anne Dunham

Yellow Medicine East

Coach: Scott Jans

2010-11 record: 20-7

Current record: 0-0 West Central South, 4-1 overall

Key players: Angie Scheffler (14.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg); Emily Baker (9.0 ppg, 10.6 rpg); Courtney Hinz (7.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg); Kylie Jans (4.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg)

Coach's comments: The defending conference and Section 3A North Subsection champions have set high goals for this year, but know the competition will be quite tough. Most teams are in the process of getting better. We have to be ready to play each night.

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