Tom Mix and Chris Murphy, Published December 04 2013
Metro girls basketball preview capsulesFargo Shanley
Coach: Tim Jacobson (eighth year)
Last year’s record: 22-3 (third place at Class A state tournament, East Region tournament champions, co-Eastern Dakota Conference regular season champions)
Who’s gone: Jessica Anderson (all-state second team, All-EDC), Carly Mickelson, Madi Smith, Haley Brenner, Kelly Weir (All-EDC), Liz Heintzman.
Key returners: Sarah Jacobson, So., G (all-state first team, All-EDC, 15.8 ppg, 5 apg); Alivia Fraase, Jr., F; Somer Bucholz, Jr., G; Jackie Day, Jr. G.
Coach’s comments: “We are a younger team this season, with only two seniors on the roster. The players are coming into practice eager to learn and have been working hard. The biggest thing for us will be getting more game experience. We are still finding out who we are and that will take a couple of games.”
Coach: Tonah Safranski (fourth year)
Last year’s record: 6-14
Who’s gone: Jami Larson, Alexis Bolstad (All-EDC).
Key returners: Katelyn Olson, Sr., F/C (All-EDC, 12.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.8 blocks per game); Kinsey Papachek, Sr., G (8.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.7 apg); Lauren Hage, Sr., G; Brook Hildre, Sr., F/C; Alexis Klabo, Jr., F; Kylee Bergantine, Fr., G (6.0 ppg); Rebecca Kelly, Jr., G.
Coach’s comments: “Our girls are working hard in practice. We have high team expectations for this season. The girls are focused on improving every day and doing whatever it takes to make our team successful.”
Coach: Jason Smedshammer (third year)
Last year’s record: 8-14
Who’s gone: Madeline Strandemo (All-EDC), Bria Taber, Alyssa May.
Key returners: Maddie Erickson, So., G (6.6 ppg, 4.7 apg); Emily Stroup, So., F/C (10.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg); Allyson Friedt, Sr., F; Nya Chakin, Jr., F/C.
Coach’s comments: “We feel we can put a lot of size out on the floor this year, so a big focus for us will be taking advantage of that size both offensively and defensively. We also have quickness at the point guard position. We will rely on our two returning starters (Erickson and Stroup) early in the year and even though both are sophomores, they will be in their third years of playing varsity basketball.”
Coach: Derek Ouren (sixth year)
Last year’s record: 15-6
Who’s gone: Kira Larson (all-state first team, All-EDC, East Region senior athlete of the year), Courtney Johnson, Emily Wehri.
Key returners: Emma Bergeron, Sr., F (9.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg); Kim Muellenberg, Sr., G (6.7 ppg); Kelsie Schmiess, Sr., G (5.8 ppg); Julia Dehne, Sr., F; Kate Astrup, Sr., G; Sam Schweigert, Sr., F; Tori Reinolz, Jr., F; Carmen Ross, Jr., G.
Coach’s comments: “We seem to be athletic this year along with having a lot of returning rotation players and more depth because of that. We are going to need to win games through our guard play while improving our post game as the season progresses. This group is very capable of doing some great things this season.”
Coach: Barb Metcalf (sixth year)
Last year’s record: 21-4 (State Class A runner-up, co-EDC regular season champions).
Who’s gone: Christine Baltezore (All-EDC); Lexi Lennon (all-state second team, All-EDC), Jolene Woodbury, Alyssa Stedman, Ashley Warner.
Key returners: Cassidy Thorson, Sr., G/F (All-EDC, 10.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg) Kaitlin Langerud, Sr., F (5.0 ppg); Shelby Gustafson, Sr., C (7.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg); Cassidy Nelson, Jr., C.
Coach’s comments: “The Packers will have size and speed this year. Team depth will allow for different looks on defense and offense. As the season progresses, West Fargo will battle to be one of the top teams in the EDC.”
Fargo Oak Grove
Coach: Mike Forsberg (first year)
Last year’s record: 14-7
Who’s gone: None
Key returners: Tatum Holt, Sr., G (All-District 2); Rachel Osmundson, Sr., G (All-District 2); Hannah Kelley, Sr., C; Jordan Cain, Sr., F; Kirsten Bokinskie, Jr., F; Abby Sharpe, Jr., F.
Coach’s comments: “Because we return a lot of players with experience, I’m looking forward to the season. I realize a lot of what I’m bringing to the team is new, but the players are really picking it up quickly because of their experience playing together the last several seasons. They have been a fun bunch to work with.”
Coach: Jim Kapitan (15th year)
Last year’s record: 7-18
Who’s gone: Hailey Wixo, Melissa Groth.
Key returners: Kelli Tonn, Sr. G; Kellie Clark, Sr., G; Cassidy Rahman, Sr., G; Hali Stephenson, Sr., F; Kayla Dalquist, Sr., C; Sara Ginther, Sr., G.
Coach’s comments: “We have a core of returning letter winners that have played a lot of varsity minutes in the past years, so experience will be a strong point. Keys to a successful season will be consistent post play and solid perimeter shooting. We have number of underclassmen who will provide depth to our bench.”
Coach: Tom Critchley Jr. (second year)
Last year’s record: 15-9
Who’s gone: Kinzie Molstre, Sierra Senske, Mandy Mercil, Katie Highness, Brooke Honek, Madi Geiser.
Key returners: Anna Smith, So., F; Ally Reno, So., G; Keasha Molstre, So., G; Sydney Honek, Jr., F; Abby Zutz, Sr., F; Rachel Oberg, Sr., G.
Coach’s comments: “We’re going to be really inexperienced. We aren’t going to use our youth as an excuse. We plan to be competitive. We have pretty athletic younger girls that are ready to step up to the challenge.”
Moorhead Park Christian
Coach: Amy Rogness (second year)
Last year’s record: 3-22
Who’s gone: Kelsey Kowalski, Kimberly Harmelink, Sierra Ellefson.
Key returners: Sydney Larson, Jr., G; Courtney Nepstad, Sr., F; Jordyn Viland, Jr., C.
Coach’s comments: “We’re still really young just in our experience. We’re looking to continue to build on that and gain experience each game. We just need to put forth hard work and effort every game. The reality is, because there are only three seniors, we are building on what’s coming up, but, yet, we’re not sacrificing what we’re in right now. We’re very focused on the season right now.”
Compiled by Tom Mix and Chris Murphy