The Beach girls basketball program bid a fond farewell to a sterling 2011 senior class this past year.
That senior class, which included all-state players Brittney Dietz and Abby Weinreis, produced 107 victories in 125 games in four years, two Region 7 crowns (2010 and 2011) and a Class B state title (2010).
Veteran coach Bob Waldal and the Buccaneers begin a new chapter this winter. While this season's crew is short on experience, it is long on heart and attitude.
"They do have heart and they will play hard and do everything that is asked of them," Waldal said. "Effort will never be an issue. They love their basketball and have the right attitude to excel in it."
Returning letterwinners are seniors Kelcee Dykins and Brooke Davidson, and sophomores Cydni Stedman, Hailee Farstveet and Bailey Waldal.
"They bring a strong work ethic to the team," Waldal said. "The last couple of years the young players got schooled every day by the veterans at practice. Now it is their turn to play the game and see what they have learned from big sister."
Waldal expects a battle in District 13.
Heart River returns three starters from last season's 13-10 team - seniors Miranda Kadrmas (10.8 points and
7.6 rebounds per game) and Quin Steffan
(5.7 ppg, 8 rpg), and junior Mary Hlebechuck (8.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.8 spg).
Hettinger and Scranton began a co-op this season and together return five starters and three part-time regulars -Taylor Kelner
(10.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg,
79 assists), Kaitlyn Olson (10.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg), Courtney Anderson
(4.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg), Rebecca Oase (2.1 ppg, 5 rpg), Reba Resner, Kaitlin Reitz, Paige Gravning and Cassie Holt. Michaela Erickson also has varsity experience.
Mott-Regent also sports a team that is high on experience. Topping the list of returning letterwinners are senior Alexis Roth (9 ppg, 5 rpg) and junior Marah Friez (10 ppg, 2 rpg).
New England and Bowman County went
2-19 and 3-18, respectively, last season, but both teams should see improvement this winter. Both return four starters.
Returning to New England's starting lineup are senior India Fitterer (5 ppg, 3 apg), juniors Bryanna Rasch (7 ppg,
5 rpg) and Erin Volk (3ppg, 3 apg), and sophomores Hannah Nordby (4 ppg, 6 rpg) and Gabbi Hanson (4 ppg, 4 rpg,
3 apg). The 5-10 Rasch, 5-8 Nordby and 6-foot Ashley Plaggemeyer, a sophomore, give New England strength inside.
Pam Fischer is the new Bowman County coach, returning after a near 20-year hiatus.
Defending champion Dickinson Trinity returns just two starters from last season's 19-5 team - Nikki Grinsteinner (11 ppg, 8 rpg) and Andrea Jirges (7 ppg,
5 rpg). Kelsey Deichert and Katelyn Grinsteinner saw time off the bench.
Killdeer, which made it to the region tournament championship game last season, brings back three starters, including all-district and all-region performer Megan Klein. Klein, a 6-foot senior, averaged 17.4 points and 10.5 rebounds per game as a junior. She also netted 24 3-pointers and blocked 32 shots.
Morgan LeMieux (4.1 ppg,
4.5 rpg, 43 assists) and Ashley Brew also started last season. Tess Gaugler and Kelsey Knutson put in quality minutes as reserves.
Beulah brings back three starters and two top reserves from last season's 13-12 team.
Back in the starting lineup are 6-2 Anna Iverson (7 ppg, 3.5 rpg), Meghan Battest (4.5 rpg, 7.5 rpg) and Cheyanne Pederson (6 ppg, 4 rpg). Kaycee Link (7 ppg, 4 rpg), who also stands 6-2, and Nicole Lorenz (5 ppg, 3 rpg) contributed off the bench. All five are seniors.
Hazen's roster includes three returning starters - Paige Burling (10 ppg, 3.5 rpg), Morgan Karges (2 ppg, 2 rpg) and Sadie Bolton (3 ppg, 2 rpg). Courtney Ost (3.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg), Rachael Biffert (2.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg), Rachael Hansana (2 ppg, 1.5 rpg), Ashton Carter (4.5 ppg, 2 rpg) and Kendra Slaubaugh saw considerable varsity time as reserves.
Halle Olson (11.3 ppg, 8.6 rpg) and Logan Olson (9.6 ppg,
4.8 rpg) top the list of returning letterwinners for Richardton-Taylor.
Karen Schaff (11.5 ppg, 3 rpg) is the top returner for Glen Ullin-Hebron.
Teasha Voegele (4 ppg, 4 rpg) and Makenzie Glass (2 ppg, 3 rpg) also started for the Bearcats last season. Allyssa Wehri was a part-time starter.