New coach leads Litchfield Dragons
Ian Anderson takes over at Litchfield, which returns 3 starters from last year
LITCHFIELD — Welcome Ian Anderson to the fray. He’s the new head girls basketball coach at Litchfield.
He and assistants Eric Hulterstrum and Zack Piepenburg inherit a squad that returns three starters from last season’s 17-11 team, including a 6-8 record in the rugged Wright County Conference West Division.
Starters back include Neriah Lara (5-foot-8, senior, guard), Sydney McCann (5-8, Jr., G) and Katelyn Cruze (6-0, Sr., P).
Anderson calls Lara a “skilled offensive player who will take on a bigger role this year.” She averaged 6 points and 4 rebounds per game last season.
McCann enters her third season as a starter. Anderson calls her a “stat sheet stuffer, (who) could reach 1,000 points with a good season.” She averaged 8 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals per game. McCann was all-conference.
Cruze, he said, is a “physical post who had a great summer season.” She shot 58 percent from the field, averaging 6 points and 5 rebounds. Cruze was an all-conference honorable-mention.
Anderson noted that Kamri Driver (5-6, Jr., G) started about half of last season.
All involved must assume larger roles with the graduation losses of Laney Huhner, Maddy Shoultz and Natalie Hansen from last season’s team, which averaged 53.1 points per game and allowed 51.6.
The Dragons play in a conference which includes state-tournament contenders Annandale (12-2 Wright County West, 22-7 overall last season) and New London-Spicer (12-2, 20-7).
Beating Annandale 41-38 in Section 3AA was a big step for the Dragons, who lost to the Cardinals twice during the regular season (67-49 and 48-42).