Bearcats open with young, but experienced group
The Hebron-Glen Ullin girls basketball team fell on some tough times last year.
However, HGU averaged 28.5 points per game, which was going to make it hard to win many games. The Bearcats finished the season 2-15 overall and 0-5 in District 14.
“(Assistant) Coach (Shelly) Christensen always try to preach — no matter how we are struggling offensively — that if we can play great defense out there we are always going to be in the game,” HGU head coach Jeremiah Stokka said. “If we can get our girls to accept the challenge and accept that they can compete in this league, we can compete in this league. We know there are tough teams out there. If we put the effort on the defensive end, we will have the chance to be successful.”
The two wins HGU picked up last season were against Center-Stanton 39-26 during the seventh place game of the New Salem-Almont Tournament on Dec. 22. The other game the Bearcats won was a 36-33 over Flasher on Jan. 26.
HGU lost three seniors from last year’s team. The three players were Alyssa Wehri (guard), Teasha Voegele (forward) and MaKenzie Glass (center).
Returning for the Bearcats this season is an extremely young group. There is one senior and four sophomores. Kari Gerving is the lone senior. The four sophomores include Ivy Burbidge (guard), Kendra Gerving (guard), Michaela Gerving (guard) and Taya Bandle (forward). The Bearcats are also looking at eighth-grader Kennedy Zuroff to get some playing time. Senior Mariah Stern and junior Natalie Duppong will get some playing time as well.
“We’ll have five or six letter winners who got significant playing time last year,” Stokka said. “We’ll be young, but I’ll never look at that as a detriment. I always think if kids are good enough to play young, they can use that experience.”
With an absence of district tournaments this season, every team is qualifying for the Region 7 Tournament this season. With many returners for the Bearcats, the team is hoping to make a push during tournament time.
“I like the way that it’s set up, because every game does matter,” Stokka said. “You have to make sure that you are bringing it every day, because you want to get the best seed out there. You want to make sure you are setting yourself up for the best opportunity to win. I have no problem with the super-regional. It focuses on playing the best games every single week. I’m truly a firm believer if you play the best competition, you get better. We’re not looking for an easy way out.”