Girls return with a different look, but the same goal
Finding a way to account for the loss of three starters, one of which became a Division I athlete
by Wilson Kozel & Andrew Graham, Talon Staff Writers
After two consecutive state finals appearances, the Minnehaha girls’ basketball team returns with a new core of players, a different mentality, but the same goal as they have had year in and year out: make it to the state tournament.
The loss of Sarina Baker and Katelyn Adams, who contributed a combined 34.3 points per game, forces the team to adjust and makes it critical for others to step up in their absence.
“It’s going to be hard trying to replace them and all their points, but it will be exciting because it will be a completely different team,” said senior captain Andrea Scharf. “This year we will be faster, quicker. Just a lock down on defense.”
It will be a difficult start to the season for the Redhawks, as they play Roosevelt, Minneapolis South, DeLaSalle and Providence Academy, all top top teams in their respective classes.
“Championships aren’t won in December,” said assistant head coach Scott Scholl. “In December, you want to play good competition to see where you’re at, see where you need to improve.”
“We expect to be better in March than we are in November,” said head coach Josh Thurow, “Just to improve throughout the year and get better. We have a lot of players trying to step up and replace valuable members of last years team.”
This is sentiment that is echoed by many of the players as well, who know that this team will need time to adjust. This year’s team is going to be a lot different from teams from the last couple years, and there will be a learning curve to start out. It will force others to step up who have been role players in the past, as well as those who were not even on the varsity team in the past.
“Every year we always have to replace seniors that we think are irreplaceable and somebody steps up and replaces them,” said Thurow. “I anticipate that kids will step up.”
Preparation for this year is also different. This year’s team has added a new aspect to their training, weight lifting three days a week after practice.
“It’s different, we’ve never done that before, not since I’ve been here,” said junior guard Anna Scholl. “After a period of time at least it will probably show in our playing.”
Having been to five state tournaments in seven years, the Redhawks plan to continue playing the same way they always have.
“We stay with the same system,” said Thurow. “Defensively we’ve stayed with our 1-3-1, we will continue to do that. We have strong feelings that is one of the reasons we are able to be in it year in and year out. We play a style of defense that people have a tough time preparing for.”