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Nine returners bolster Killdeer's hopes for region tournament return

Last season, the Killdeer girls basketball team wanted more. After being pegged to lead Region 7 ahead of the 2016-2017 season, the Cowboys hoped to live up to that. A 12-11 record earned a fourth-place finish in the regular season, so Killdeer a...

Sydney Anderson dribbles the ball while facing Bowman County in the 2017 Region 7 tournament at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Press File Photo)
Sydney Anderson dribbles the ball while facing Bowman County in the 2017 Region 7 tournament at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Press File Photo)

Last season, the Killdeer girls basketball team wanted more.

After being pegged to lead Region 7 ahead of the 2016-2017 season, the Cowboys hoped to live up to that. A 12-11 record earned a fourth-place finish in the regular season, so Killdeer avoided a play-in game and advanced directly to the tournament. A loss to Hettinger-Scranton granted them fifth in the region tournament.

With nine varsity returners, the Cowboys are hoping to be another top team this season.

Two-time All-Region team members Sydney Anderson and Trae Murray will lead the Killdeer offense.

"I have full confidence in Sydney and Trae. A lot of the other players have started stepping up and showing a lot of potential," head coach Ashlee Viveros said.

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Anderson and Murray are just two in a group of six seniors, with Bridgette Reiss, Hannah Kling, Chenneth Morlock and Corrie Dobitz rounding out the bunch.

"Those players all got varsity minutes last year. Some of them did a really strong job on JV. I think they're ready though," Viveros said. "Obviously, Sydney and Trae are going to be the people other teams are noticing, but I think most of our seniors are going to see minutes this year because they have that experience."

Not only do the seniors have experience with each other, but with Viveros, who coached them through middle school and took over the varsity coach position the same year the players transitioned to high school.

"I think we're going to be faster and more athletic than we were last year," Viveros said. "The thing that I just love about this group is they play together and trust each other on the floor. They're willing to share the ball with each other and you can tell they genuinely enjoy being on the floor together."

Juniors Karly Bang, Shawnee Hansen and Steena Larsen complete the list of nine returning players.

Experience and the desire to perform better than last season will drive the Cowboys this season.

"All I ever ask of my players is we do the very best that we can do," Viveros said. "The ultimate goal is to get what every team is after, which is to make states. That being said, I don't like to focus on that. We like to focus on the process and just be the very best team that we can be and become better people and become better basketball players and just kind of grow together throughout the season."

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Then sophomore Shawnee Hansen passes to a teammate during the 2017 Region 7 tournament at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Press File Photo)
Then sophomore Shawnee Hansen passes to a teammate during the 2017 Region 7 tournament at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Press File Photo)

Related Topics: KILLDEER COWBOYS
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