Breathing confidence: DHS looks to astound with can-do attitude

After a tough season last year that saw the Dickinson girls basketball team towards the bottom of the WDA standings, they now look to mix things up and show off their strengths with their abundance of confidence and determination.

Caton Pearcy on defense during a practice drill. (Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press)

The 2020-2021 season saw them finish 4-16 overall, good for ninth in the WDA. It also was the end of three of their senior’s careers who played major roles in their time at Dickinson. Despite this, head coach Devan Douglas said she is looking forward to her team surprising those in the region who don't recognize them as a threat.

“I don’t think a lot of people in our region expect very much from us and that is great for me because it takes away all the pressure,” Douglas said. “We will just go out there and play as hard as we can and I think we are going to surprise some people this year.”

Another strength that Douglas expressed was the high team chemistry they possess will push them towards their goals in practice and success on the court.

“I feel like all the girls have a really good relationship with each other,” Douglas said. “They know that they can push each other to be their best, but can also have fun too.”

From last year the team said goodbye to three seniors, center Paige Balliet , guard Symone Beld and point guard Sydney Binstock. Beld was Dickinson’s sharp shooter who took her talents to Concordia College.


“We had a great senior class last year,” Douglas said. “We are going to miss those guys, but I think these younger girls are really going to step up to the challenge this year.”

Staci Kempenich passes the ball to Caton Pearcy during practice. (Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press)

Douglas knows that filling Balliet spot at the 5 spot will be a challenge with their limits in height, but is fully confident with her current seniors, Reese Hauck, Taya Hopfauf and Staci Kempenich to provide heavy pressure and brute force to their game.

“Our older girls are a little bit small, but they don't care,” Douglas said. “Reese Hauck last night in practice was playing the 5 spot and she just jumped in and she pushed people around just as hard as some of the taller girls in the region are going to push. Staci and Reese set really good examples for the younger girls and they just work their tails off.”

Dickinson will also have three juniors to pull from their arsenal to fill starting positions with Emily Ash, Baylee Berg and Caton Pearcy.

Pearcy joined the team last year and will now have a chance to visit her old home town for their first game of the season against Glendive on Dec. 3.

“Pretty much from the first time watching Pearcy play basketball has been exciting to me,” Douglas said. “She is one of those players that has great body control, she has really good forevision and she is a girl that can play any position. She has done a lot for us the past year.”


The Midgets have promising sophomores that will have opportunities for varsity minutes. One in particular that is likely to see a good amount of time on the court is 6-foot-1 Jazmin Barry.

Jazmin Barry works hard to develop her skills during the practice in preparation for the 2021-22 season. (Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press)

“Jazmin started playing basketball a little late I believe … We have all seen how athletic she is and she works really hard and is a player that we can push to be her absolute best,” Douglas said. “She has some pretty big goals this year. She is probably going to get a lot of minutes and she is coming a long way in a short amount of time.”

By the end of the season Dickinson’s goal is to find their spot in the WDA tournament with strong fundamentals and adaptability against every opponent they face.

“In the WDA you have to be on your toes every single game. Anything can happen so you have to show up with your best game every night,” Douglas said. “We are going to mix it up a little bit this year … I would definitely say that whatever we are lacking, these girls make up for it with hard work.”

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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