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Dickinson High girls basketball getting defensive in Alysia Barman’s second season

Dickinson High's girls basketball team went 4-19 in head coach Alysia Barman's first year. As the Midgets prepare for her second season at the helm, Barman believes the team is using that record as a motivating factor."The girls handle that well,...

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Dickinson High junior Jayde Lawlar looks to pass during a game last season at DHS gymnasium. (Press File Photo)

Dickinson High’s girls basketball team went 4-19 in head coach Alysia Barman’s first year. As the Midgets prepare for her second season at the helm, Barman believes the team is using that record as a motivating factor.
“The girls handle that well,” she said. “It makes them work harder every day in practice. Communication with each other has improved. We tell the kids that they’re going to work harder than any team in the WDA. We might not be more talented, but they’re going to work harder.”
Barman believes a full season and summer with players are already paying dividends in the leadup to the new year. The Midgets play their first game at 4:45 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at Bismarck High.
“I think they have a better understanding of what the philosophy is and our expectations as a coaching staff,” she said. “We emphasize defense in everything we do. We tell the girls, ‘You won’t play if you can’t defend.’”
So far, players can already notice a difference entering Barman’s second year.
“We did a lot of fundamental stuff with her this summer,” junior Jayde Lawlar said. “She really focuses on defense, and we’re all buying-in and working harder. We’re doing what they expect of us and trying to execute that the best we can.”
Lawlar averaged six points and four rebounds as a sophomore last season, when she started every game.
“I look at Jayde and I look at the number of hours she put in this summer, she’s become - and she was a good player last year - but she’s become a great player now,” Barman said. “She’s fun to watch in practice. She’s matured a lot in practice, and we’re going to expect a lot from her this year.”
Lawlar said playing on varsity at such a young age made her grow up a little more quickly.
“It helped a lot,” she said. “The jump from JV to varsity is tremendous. The speed of the game is a lot different. You have to be worried about a lot more things and be ready to go out and play hard.”
Barman expects the team’s sophomores - Mariah Mortensen, Alexus Meduna and Raegan Linster - to all benefit from having a strong group of seniors to look up to.
“There’s Taylor Privratsky, who was in the starting lineup for us all of last year,” Barman said. “Emilie Sickler, she got a lot of playing time last year. She had a couple concussions that kind of set her back, but we expect a lot out of her. Our other senior is McKenzie Mortensen, who really stepped up toward the end of last season and started to get more time. All of our seniors have been great in terms of leadership.”

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