Press No. 6 Sports Story of 2011: This time, Beach fell short of perfectionNobody can be perfect forever and for the Beach girls basketball team, it happened at one of the worst possible times.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Nobody can be perfect forever and for the Beach girls basketball team, it happened at one of the worst possible times.
The No. 1-ranked Buccaneers were on a 51-game win streak until they met No. 2-ranked Kenmare in the first round of the Class B state tournament on March 17. They finished the season with a 26-1 record and a fifth-place finish in the state tournament.
The Buccaneers’ unbeaten regular season and shortfall at the state tournament is The Dickinson Press’ No. 6 Sports Story of 2011.
After the Buccaneers’ sole loss of the 2010-11 season, Beach’s head coach Bob Waldal had some words of wisdom for his team.
“I told (the team), I said ‘You’ve handled winning exceptionally,’” he said in a March 18 article in The Press. “Now is our turn to handle losing. It’s only a game, but you feel bad about it of course.”
Beach not only suffered its first loss in two seasons, but entered the 2011-12 season without six graduated seniors who saw significant playing time.
The biggest piece of the Buccaneers puzzle lost was Brittney Dietz, who was the Class B senior athlete of the year, a Miss Basketball candidate and first-team all-state player.
Dietz averaged 16.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3 steals and 2.5 assists per game during her senior season. That success didn’t come easy.
“I kept thinking about how hard she worked, the time she put in,” Waldal said of Dietz’s career in a March 25 article in The Press. “Every open gym, she would be there.”
Alongside Dietz was guard Abby Weinreis, a second-team all-state player who averaged 14 points, 3.5 steals, 3 rebounds and 3 assists per game. The remaining four players lost were Jill Rising, Kiffin Howard, LaCee Vollum and Bobbi Nielsen.
Dietz and Rising are now redshirts at the University of Mary. Weinreis averages 11.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.4 steals per game for Bismarck State College.
Beach now has a group of young players that are lead by seniors Brooke Davidson and Kelcee Dykins, and a trio of sophomores who saw time last season, Hailee Farstveet, Cydni Stedman and Bailey Waldal.
Though the season is young, the Buccaneers lead Region 7 in scoring at 67 points per game and are ranked No. 9 in the latest state media poll.
“We’re going to take our licks, that’s for sure,” Bob Waldal said in a Dec. 7 article in The Press. “We have probably one of the toughest schedules we’ve ever had.”
McGregor is a sports reporter for The Dickinson Press. He can reached at email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/SirRoyal.