The Dickinson women’s basketball team may have been bitten hard by the injury bug in last season’s campaign. But with a healthy unit, the team looks to be starting fresh and making a run in the WDA tournament.
At the beginning of the season, it looked as if the Midgets were going to have a strong and successful season, but injuries to top players, including star then-senior Gabby Jung, now playing for the NCAA Division-I Eastern Washington Eagles, and junior now-senior Peyton Selle derailed the team. The Midgets attempted to compete in the WDA tournament in a play-in game at home against Watford City. Despite having a decent lead, the Wolves routed and forced the Midgets’ season to end on its home floor.
Now starting fresh, the team hopes to avoid the injury plague and continue the success the team had a year prior.
“I feel really good about this season,” head coach James Hayden said. “So far the girls are working extremely hard, I think they’re really motivated. Last year not making it to the WDA tournament has kinda sparked fire in their hearts, they just haven’t forgotten about that.”
Despite not having the return of Jung, Hayden is confident in his team’s ability to persevere, with the help of seniors Selle and Audrey Rodakowski. Selle played a major impact in the team’s abilities to be able to make key plays and be the solid leaders the team needs. Rodakowski looks to be the power enforcer in the paint to help the team gain rebounds and battle through tight coverage.
“I think everyone knows that, that spot has to be filled, and I don’t think our seniors feel like they have to put it all on their shoulders, that’s not their mindset at all. ... They are working really hard to get everybody involved.
“I feel that (Selle and Rodakowski) are ready for this leadership role, Peyton and Audrey have had some of the most experience out of everybody on the team and they’re going to bring that experience to help guide our younger players and they’ve already been doing a really good job of that,” Hayden said.
The team will also be looking for sophomore Reese Hauck and Symone Beld to help give contribution to the team as they did last season when Selle and Jung were sidelined with injuries.
“I’m very optimistic, healthwise, going into this season,” Hayden said.
As for strengths and weaknesses, Hayden credits the Midgets with strong defensive attributes and having fearless guards and bigs that make it difficult to have easy buckets inside. As for weakness, Hayden is preparing to improve on the team’s ability with transition offense
“I think we got a lot of athletes on our team who can really run the floor, and we’ve been working on that in practice a lot so that is something that has been really exciting to see, they’re really picking up on that,”
“There’s a lot of really good things to look forward to this year, and it’s just can we stay consistent enough throughout our day-to-day, in every practice, do the little things the right way, and have those little things carry over into a game, and can we do that for an entire season,” Hayden said.
The Midgets will be able to begin to answer that question by starting its season at home against the defending champions, the Bismarck Century Patriots at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 9.