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Return of All-Region guard provides a big boost for Buccaneers’ 2021-22 season

Two-time All-Region guard Madi Wilhelmi is back from injury and ready to fight for a Region 7 crown.

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Beach girls basketball coach Mark Golberg. (File Image / The Dickinson Press)

Just like the boys’ team, the Beach girl’s basketball team will welcome back one of their best players after missing all of last year due to injury.

Senior Madi Wilhelmi will be back in the fold for 2021-22 after missing the season due to an injury she sustained in the fall volleyball season.

“Her ability to handle the ball and set us up in our offense and get things going will help us out this year,” Beach head coach Mark Golberg said. “The way she captains our defense, she’s good at talking and helping kids out where they need to be…saying that we’re excited to have her back would be an understatement.”

Last year, the Buccaneers finished ninth in the region at 8-13 and lost 67-53 to Mott-Regent in the first round of the Region 7 tournament.

Wilhelmi is the lone member of the team who has earned All-Region honors in the past, averaging 14 points and six rebounds per game.

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With Wilhelmi sidelined a year ago, it provided an opportunity for others to step into the spotlight and help lead the team through the season.

Tyra Feldmann upped her game in her sophomore campaign, averaging six points and six rebounds per game, tallying 30 steals and 40 assists. Now as a junior, she’ll look to take her game to another level and star with Wilhelmi on the court.

“Her improvement has been huge at the varsity level from last year to this year,” Golberg said. “She had to step up and take on a lot of that ball handling ability and leadership role. It really helped her out and gave her a lot of confidence. Now going into her junior year she's a stalwart of our team.”

Another player to look out for is senior Laiken Mahlum (6 PPG), who also had a chance to progress her game with Wilhelmi’s injury.

But while Beach welcomes back an injured star, they’ll have to replace plenty of production from a season ago with six graduated seniors. They’ll also have to look for a new player to produce in the paint, which could fall on the shoulders of junior Eliza Braden.

“It starts in the offseason on June 1st,” Golberg said. “Once all the kids graduate and summer comes around we expect them to play a lot…now those kids realize in practice, they’re the ones that are having to take control and lead the younger players. Nothing can replicate varsity game experience. Once we get to these first couple games, that’s when it will come full circle.”

There’s a lot of moving parts in the 2021-22 Buccaneers’ team, but could see an opportunity to climb the region standings with teams above them last year graduating some notable players.

Hettinger-Scranton will be losing the 2021 North Dakota Miss Basketball winner Samantha Oase, who helped the Night Hawks win the last three Region 7 titles. Trinity’s All-State guard Abbey Kubas is also out of the region, who had the Titans contending for the top spot each year.

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Whenever certain teams drop, someone has to rise and that team could very well be the Beach Buccaneers.

While Beach lost a number of seniors from last year, the return of Wilhelmi will be a much needed boost that could get them back to their winning ways, much like they were in the early 2010s, when they won five-straight region titles.

“Nobody’s ever won a region championship in December,” Golberg said. “If we can keep building and stay healthy and work as a team we have a chance to be up there. It’s a crazy season, you never know what’s going to happen…it depends on how you progress throughout the season.”

Related Topics: BASKETBALLBEACH BUCCANEERSGIRLS BASKETBALL
Race Archibald is a former sports reporter with The Dickinson Press.
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