Speedy girls hope to challenge
in the Three Rivers Conference
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 2:57 AM
The Kingsland girls basketball squad may be slim in numbers, but six of the members are seniors that lettered last year and have already been working together in preparation for the upcoming season.
The team lost seven seniors off the squad that finished 13-14 overall and 10-10 in the Three Rivers Conference, but coach Jill Thalmann said the girls have already been working together and she feels she has a "close team" this year.
"We all worked hard during the summer and had a good tournament in Coon Rapids that lasted all day," she said. "We have played together as a team before and I think that will be advantageous this season."
The Knights will have good speed along with good shooting, particularly from outside.
Post Marissa Bornholdt, who was last year's third leading scorer and led the team in field goal percentage, ended the season strong with a good showing in the final games and in tournament play.
Point guard Haley Colton was second best on the team in three-point shooting last season and guard Melinda Woods was right behind her. Colton also led the 2012-13 team in assists. Jamie Thompson was fourth in shooting accuracy. The other two senior letter winners are guard Kailynn Hamersma and Hanna Ramaker, both who saw considerable action last year as the team used a lot of players in each game.
The only junior on the team is guard Lacey Schwarz, who played in several games last season. Two sophomores also join the varsity - guard Karson Reiland and forward Reann Kimball.
With the speed of the team, which includes several cross-country and track athletes, Thalmann said the Knights "hope to push up the court this season." They plan to work the ball inside and outside, she added.
The team has some good three-point shooters, she explained, and even the posts can shoot well from outside.
It appears to be a rebuilding year in the Three Rivers Conference as a several teams lost talented players from last year. Thalmann expects the Knights to be competitive. Southland won the conference title last year, followed by Dover-Eyota and Chatfield.
A big win for the Knights last year was over Caledonia late in the season. Thalmann said the win over the previously dominating rival "was a huge confidence booster" last year.
Thalmann is in her third year of coaching at Kingsland, the first year seventh grade and last year the varsity. Jay Webster, who coached eighth grade last year, is the assistant. Jasper Hamersma, a 2001 Kingsland graduate, will be coaching ninth grade.
The Knights open the season once again in a holiday tournament Saturday at Byron. Their opponent will be Sioux Central from Iowa. Game time is 6 p.m. The tournament was supposed to be a four-team two-day tourney, but one team backed out. Byron will play Sioux Central Friday and the winners of each game, unless Sioux Central wins both, will face off in Byron on Jan. 30.
The girls will face Fillmore Central on Tuesday, Dec. 3, for the home and conference opener and then travel to Caledonia Thursday, Dec. 5.