The Napoleon girls basketball team had a dream season going in 2010-11.
Then Linton-HMB went and spoiled it all.
Linton-HMB downed Napoleon
43-39 in the Region 3 semifinals, handing the Imperials their first loss after
22 consecutive victories.
This season, the Imperials and Lions again appear to be the prime favorites for the District 6 and region championships.
Napoleon returns three starters including second-team all-stater Sheridon Dewald, a 5-6 junior. Dewald averaged 19.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 2.3 assists last season. She has 1,221 career points.
Also back are Kendra Weigel (13.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.8 apg, 2.6 spg) and Mikayla Young (4.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg).
Brenna Schmidt (3.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg) and Mariah Jangula (5 ppg, 2.5 rpg) contributed off the bench.
"We're looking to put together another good season. This time we're hoping to finish better," Napoleon coach Darcy Lehr said. "We've put together a tougher schedule this year, and hopefully that will prepare us
better for the postseason. We have the talent to go far, but we also know that there are other good teams in our
district and region."
Linton-HMB returns two starters in Kayln Schneider and Whitney Gerving. Robin Weber was the first player off the bench. All are seniors.
Schneider led the Lions in scoring and rebounding (13.9 ppg and 6.4 rpg). She shot 54 percent from the floor and 65 percent from the charity stripe. Gerving led the team in assists and tossed in 7.2 points per game. Weber, who will start this season, averaged
5.6 points and 4 rebounds.
McKenna Flyberg netted 6.9 points per game as a reserve.
South Border has four starters back from last season's 15-10 team. Karly Wald led the Mustangs in scoring (14 ppg) and rebounding (9 rpg). Kalli Scherbenske added 10.5 points, 4 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2 assists a contest.
Also returning to the starting lineup are Kaylee Ketterling (7 ppg, 2 rpg,
3 spg) and Wendy Eszlinger (3 ppg, 3 rpg, 2 spg). Madie Schnabel averaged 4 points and 3 rebounds off the bench.
Kidder County took second place in the district and region tournaments in 2010-11, but will have a smaller, less experienced team this season.
Back in the starting lineup are Kelsey Dockter
(12 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 32 3-pointers) and Morgan Rohrich
(5.3 ppg, 3 rpg). Samantha Rangeloff, the tallest Pirate at 5-9, averaged 2.3 points and 2.6 rebounds off the bench.
Strasburg-Zeeland went 5-17 with a young team last season, but nine players with varsity experience return. They include Jennifer Wikenheiser (8.7 ppg, 4 rpg) and Kelsie Silvernagel (6.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg).
Barnes County North is considered one of the favorite in District 5. The Bison, 10-13 last season, bring back eight players with varsity experience. Topping the list are Emily Albrecht (8.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg) and Jenna Gullickson (6.9 ppg, 4 rpg).
Central Prairie's top returners are Jordan Spitzer (12.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg) and Noelle Moser (7.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg), both juniors.
Senior Jennifer Erickson, who averaged eight points per game last season, is the top senior returning for Edgeley-Kulm.
Ellendale is rebuilding after winning district titles in 2010 and 2011. Just two letterwinners return - seniors Brianna Vance (4.5 ppg,
4.1 ppg) and Emily Wang
(1.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg).
Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal returns an experienced team, led by senior Kelly Carlson, who averaged 13.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. She also dished out 86 assists and netted 28
3-pointers. Another top returner is junior Amanda Beckley (7.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg).
Litchville-Marion-Montpelier went 1-20 last season, but things are looking up with 10 returning letterwinners. Senior Cassie Fick averaged 8.5 points and five rebounds per game as a junior.
LaMoure, 11-11 last season, has 11 returning letterwinners.