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Bucs run up early 5-0 record

As the region has been eyeing the likes of Hettinger-Scranton and Bowman County, the Beach girls basketball team has quietly kicked off its season with a 5-0 start.

Beach freshman Madi Wilhelmi drives into the lane against Dickinson Trinity in the first round of the 2018 regional tournament on Feb. 16 at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Press File Photo)
Beach freshman Madi Wilhelmi drives into the lane against Dickinson Trinity in the first round of the 2018 regional tournament on Feb. 16 at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Press File Photo)

As the region has been eyeing the likes of Hettinger-Scranton and Bowman County, the Beach girls basketball team has quietly kicked off its season with a 5-0 start.

Unlike many teams in the area, the Buccaneers have already seen a regional opponent in Beulah, who they defeated 55-33 on Dec. 11. Beach downed Strasburg-Zeeland (66-31) and Larimore (58-54) in the Linton shootout before winning over Wibaux (Mont.) 61-54 in the season's first home game on Dec 6.

"I guess our big emphasis this year was playing defense a lot better," head coach Mark Golberg said. "Last year we scored 60 points a game, but we were giving up 64. So this year, we're looking to keep our offense where it's at, but really improve on the defensive side of the ball. Everyday, since practices start, we've worked on our defense three times more than we've worked on our offense."

So far, that's worked, as the Buccaneers are scoring an average of 59.6 points per game, while allowing 42.4 points per game.

Golberg has coached his team in eight different defenses so they can execute whichever one is needed or more efficient against any given team.

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"We will play whatever defense that works to win a game. It really doesn't matter," Golberg said. "Everything we do, we're always looking to run. We've been called the 'Running Bucs' for quite some time now and there's a reason for it. No matter what defense we play, we're looking to run in transition and get the ball down the court."

Still, he said, defense is where the Buccaneers need improvement, particularly with communication and rotating better.

The Beach offense is one of the most spread out in the region, as every night, seven, eight or nine girls can put up points. Also interesting, is that the team is paced by a different player each time.

In the team's region win over the Miners, sophomore forward Alyvia Braden netted a team-high 13 points, while freshman guard Madi Wilhelmi put up 15.

"We had a really good summer this year," Golberg said. "Our girls, they came in every weekday in June and July. We played 33 or 34 varsity games this summer, and we also brought in four different trainers to Beach as well. ... We got a lot of depth and so far it's showing."

While anyone could score double-digits any night, and Golberg is rotating starters, there are a few players who see the most time and the most consistent success: Wilhelmi, junior center Rachel Bosserman and sophomore guard/forward Megan Rising.

All started in the 2017-18 season and according to Golberg, have stepped into leadership roles this year on a senior-less squad.

Despite the early success, Golberg is anxious to see how his team will stand up to the better teams in the region.

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Last year, the Bucs went 7-13 and 3-8 against regional opponents. The season ended as No. 8 Dickinson Trinity defeated No. 9 Beach in the first round of the regional tournament 72-59.

"We've become more of a team," Golberg said of this year's team. "Last year, we had a rotation of about six players, and we could be kind of flat at times. This year, all of our girls, they're all rotating, they're all playing. The girls that aren't playing, the girls that are on the bench are going nuts when good things happen. It is so fun and awesome to see."

Beach sophmore forward Rachel Bosserman defends Dickinson Trinity's Abbey Kubas during the first round of the 2018 regional tournament on Feb. 16 at the Knights of the Columbus Activites Center. (Press File Photo)
Beach sophmore forward Rachel Bosserman defends Dickinson Trinity's Abbey Kubas during the first round of the 2018 regional tournament on Feb. 16 at the Knights of the Columbus Activites Center. (Press File Photo)

Related Topics: BEACH BUCCANEERS
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