SPORTS PREVIEW: Lady Wildfire Basketball

The Lady Wildfire are coming off a 9-14 season which ended with a loss to Beach in the second round of the Region 7 tournament.

2016-2017 Lady Wildfire and coaching staff. (Courtesy Photo)

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor
cbenz@countrymedia.net

But despite chilly, wintery weather, head coach Adam Hill said his squad was able to have all their practices, and they hit the ground running.

The dynamic of the team changed some, and Hill said he’s been able to implement some additional features to his squad’s scheme.

“We’re a little bit different in make up this year,” he said. “We’re a little bit quicker, a little more athletic.”

Though they have focused some on their offensive game, Hill said that most of the upgrades on the court have come on the defensive end, and tailored to his teams’ strengths.

“There’s been a learning curve with [the change],” he said. “But actually that’s got markedly better here in the last few games.”

Hill said his team is faster and more athletic, with some some height.

“We’ve tweaked a few things to take advantage of that strength,” he said.

Seniors MaLynn Kautzman and Maddison Johnson will be big playmakers on the defensive end, while senior Ellie Messmer looks to be the team’s juggernaut—she’s already averaging more than 18 points per game early on this season.

Though the seniors and other upperclassmen will be a big part for their success this season, Hill hopes to get some of the younger players on the court to gain some varsity experience to build for the future.

After losing five seniors to graduation, Hill has four upperclassmen on his team. He has six new freshmen to the program, two of which will dress for varsity games.

The Lady Wildfire will have a heavy rotation of six primary players, but the Hill said he would like to see that number grow to at least eight as the season progresses.

Hill doesn’t see one team as the sure-fire regional champion, and believes that crowds could watch some very close games this year.

Remaining Schedule

Dec. 20
@Bison Cardinals

Dec. 22
New Salem-Almont

Jan. 3
@Hazen

Jan. 5
New England

Jan. 6
Heart River

Jan. 9
@Dickinson Trinity

Jan. 12
Glen Ullin/Hebron

Jan. 14
@Standing Rock Comm. High (Bismarck)

Jan. 19
@Bowman County

Jan. 21
Hettinger/Scranton

Jan. 26
Killdeer

Jan. 27
@Richardton-Taylor

Jan. 30
Beach

Feb. 7
@McIntosh High

Feb. 11
@Faith

Feb. 14
Beulah

Feb. 20-23
Region 7 Tournament

March 2
Girls State B Basketball Tournament

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