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New head coach at the helm for Killdeer girls’ basketball in 2021-22

First year head coach Dani Hasek takes command of the Cowboys, looking to make some noise in the reigon.

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Killdeer Cowboys guard Gracie Doe (32). (File Image / The Dickinson Press)

The Killdeer Cowboys are hoping for some more consistency under a new head coach in their 2021-22 campaign after finishing 11th in Region 7 a year ago.

Dani Hasek is tasked with leading Killdeer’s girl’s basketball team and has plenty of optimism surrounding this year’s squad.

They’ve already played one game against Stanley, losing 59-46, but Hasek was encouraged by what she saw out of her team.

“We didn’t know what to anticipate for the first game but from what we’ve seen we’re moving the ball around, looking for shots more than we were last year,” Hasek said. “Just have to fine tune things. We’re going to be a quick team…we’d like to control the tempo of our games.”

Luckily for the Cowboys, they’ll have an All-Region caliber player back in the fold to rely upon most nights.

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Junior Gracie Doe has plenty of experience for the Cowboys, being a part of the program since eighth grade. The 5-foot-5 guard tied for the team lead in points per game with ten and led Killdeer in assists with 41 on the year. Back for another year, Doe is expected to handle the load offensively yet again.

“This summer she matured a lot into a team leader,” Hasek said. “She’s worked with a lot of the girls on shooting and passing. She’s going to play a big role, need to make sure she grows physically and mentally too. Being able to handle the pressure and learn when to take the shot and when to pass it. She’ll be our main leader for sure.”

Outside of Doe, seniors Liza Stahl (10 PPG) and Shelbie Schmidt (8 PPG) will be a pair of players expected to shoulder a good chunk of the offense and lead on defense.

“We have a lot of girls returning that have had time on the varsity end,” Hasek said. “And a lot of girls that are on the cusp where they played a little bit, but played a lot more junior varsity…this summer they played together so I think there will be a lot of different people playing different roles in our success.”

It’s a team that will rely upon a number of younger players throughout the season, with just five combined juniors and seniors on the roster. Last year’s 2-9 season is hopefully a thing of the past and will look to develop some of their younger talent.

Killdeer’s 2020-21 season ended at the hands of Glen Ullin-Hebron 57-32 in the first round of the Region 7 tournament. The 2021-22 team figures to make a climb in the standings and hopefully push to host a play-in game in the regional tournament.

“We have all the skills and players,” Hasek said. “We have to learn the mentality part of the game. The girls have played a lot but haven’t been in situations and are learning how to handle the pressure to get that killer instinct. For us we have to get out heads in the game and play the whole game and not in spurts.”

Race Archibald is a former sports reporter with The Dickinson Press.
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