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Girls begin season with experience, desire

Sports writer

“These girls have improved so much since last season,” an upbeat Goessel High School girls basketball coach Ryan Hoopes said. “The girls worked hard in the summer with good success.”

After last year’s season going 1-10 in the tough Heart of America League, what would turn the season around?

“We need to win more close games,” senior Jessica Goertzen said.

The Bluebirds lost seven games by seven points or less in the 2009 season.

Hoopes is expecting great improvement from his experienced crew of varsity girls. Senior Karis Janzen, a 5-foot-10 presence around the basket, averaged seven rebounds per game and five points. Aspen Frey, a 5-foot-7 senior point guard, averaged seven points per game. Karina Harvey, a 5-foot-3 guard, knocked in an average of five points per game, and senior Jessica Goertzen, a 5-foot-7 post player, added two points per game and three rebounds.

Kendra Flaming, a 5-foot-7 junior, with 13 points per game, led the team in scoring last year. Junior Shanna Klassen returns this year and is expected to contribute again from the post position. Jennifer Van Horn will have a chance to use her athletic ability to add valuable points to this year’s team.

“We have all improved in a lot of aspects of our game,” Frey said.

Adding balanced scoring, rebounds, and defense will propel this year’s team to a better record than last year.

“Playing in several MAYB tournaments this summer allowed us to step out of our comfort zone and be more aggressive,” Harvey said.

The four senior letter-winners all agreed.

“We have high expectations for this season.”

Hoopes has been at the helm of the girls team at Goessel for three years and has enjoyed watching this group of seniors develop into tough competitors. A number of inexperienced players will get to see varsity minutes as they compete for positions on the team.

Assistant coach Amanda Krier will help coach the 18 girls that reported for basketball practice this season. For the last year, Goessel will compete in the Heart of America League and is in the 2A class for this basketball season.

Goessel begins the season with an away game at Northern Heights and then will have three home games Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday as they host the Bluebird Classic.

Last modified Dec. 10, 2009

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