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Girls’ basketball begins its quest for its fourth straight state tournament appearance

Josh Sherfy, Senior Writer

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This years girls varsity basketball team are no strangers to success. The last three years, the team has battled their way to Wichita for the state basketball tournament, culminating in an 18-4 record and thrilling state runner-up finish to conclude to the 2015-2016 season.

But even a program that has been one of the most dominant in the state over the last three years understands that the task of replacing the lone thousand-point-scorer in school history, Brenni Rose, and other crucial members of the starting five, will not be an easy one.

“Danielle, Brenni and Shelbie were huge contributors last year,” senior guard Emmalee Rose said. “It definitely hurt the team to lose them, but that just means that we will have to play stronger, and younger girls on the team will have to step up and accept their role.”

This year’s team cannot rely on a large senior presence, meaning that the importance of the contributions of underclassmen who have been added to this year’s varsity roster cannot be overstated. But Rose was quick to point out the strives she has seen in the games of the returning varsity juniors.

“We’ve had all three juniors, Megan Nugent, Jordan Nachbar and Sarah Petersen, all step up and really buy into what we’re trying to do this year,” Rose said.

The injection of youthfulness combined with veteran experience and leadership could combine to become a powerful force on the court. This year’s team does however lack in height, a disadvantage that will ideally be made up for with speed and athleticism.

Following the chaos of the tryout process, senior Haley Nunnink believes this year’s team has already established a solid foundation.

“Last year we relied on pure talent a lot, and this year we have talent, but what is going to get us to state is being close-knit,” Nunnink said. “We will play better on the court if we are all playing together.”

    The girls begin their season Friday Dec. 2 at 5:30 p.m. at SM West.

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