Panther girls basketball opens season on the road
Rugby Panther girls basketball coach Jen Brossart said that the end of last year’s season left a “sour taste” in the team’s mouths.
The Panthers finished 20-5 overall, and were District 11 champions last season.
But a loss to the Our Redeemer’s Christian School Knights who went on to take third at the State Class B Girls Basketball tournament in the Region 6 tournament took the Panthers out of contention for a return trip to the “B,” where they took eighth the year prior.
The Panthers took fourth place in last year’s region tourney, falling 51-37 to the Bishop Ryan Lions.
The team had only one senior graduate last year; however that also means this year’s team has lost some height.
Brossart said the goal is for the team to run and defend the length of the court with their athleticism, which could take some pressure off their inside game.
Brossart said this year’s team is the “most athletic team I’ve ever coached.”
The team will see three all-district players seniors Madison Uhlenkamp and Tristin Lunde and junior Karsyn Hager and one all-region player (also Uhlenkamp) return this year. Also returning this year are juniors Anni Stier, Maria Blessum, Jordan Senger and McKenzie Harner; sophomore Brooke Radomski; and senior Whitney Gronvold.
The Panthers open the season on the road, facing the Benson County Wildcats on Monday in Leeds. The Panthers then travel to Harvey Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 to compete in the CNDC Tournament.
The schedule gets tougher before Jan. 1, 2018. The Panthers travel to Minot on Dec. 8 to take on the Lions, and then have their first home game of the season just four days later against the Harvey-Wells County Hornets.
The team will compete in a double-header against Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood at home just a few days before Christmas, and will travel to Minot on Dec. 28 to play against the Shiloh Christian Skyhawks who felled the Panthers 47-40 in the first round of the 2016 state tournament.
“It should provide [some] good competition,” Brossart said.
Other teams that the Panthers are looking at include the Velva Aggies, North Star Bearcats and the Four Winds-Minnewaukan Indians who are also a new addition to this year’s schedule with the Skyhawks.
“I truly think the girls are going to have a good season,” Brossart said.