The Heartland Lutheran girls basketball team took its lumps while going 2-19 last season.
But with experience, height and depth returning, the Red Hornets look to take a big step up in 2012-13.
“We had a jamboree game last Tuesday against Lawrence-Nelson, and we won that,” coach Terry Fredrickson said. “I thought we played well and we played hard.
“We’ve been practicing a couple of weeks, and we’ve done what we’ve needed to do.”
More experience is a big reason for Heartland Lutheran to be optimistic about the upcoming season.
“We lost Lauren Staehr, who was our big post, but we’ve basically got four starters back,” Fredrickson said. “We’ve got some height. Katy Kowalski is 6-foot-2, Beth Hollman is 6-1.
“Courtney Hiegel is a returning shooting guard. Rave Schmitt is a shooting guard. Steph Chandler will do a lot of our ballhandling. We’ve got a good mix of players back.”
To increase the win total, the Red Hornets have to get the posts involved offensively and take advantage of that height.
“We have to play inside/out,” Fredrickson said. “We’ve got to get the ball inside. Then when teams start to double us in the post, we have to kick it back out to our shooters.
“I think we’ll be able to surprise some teams.”
Seniors Jess Bader, Jamie Bader and Karen Velado will also see significant playing time.
“Our role players are good shooters,” Fredrickson said. “I’ve got some depth finally.”
Heartland Lutheran hopes that all adds up to a much more successful season in the win column.
“We want to compete in every game to the end and have a chance to win,” Fredrickson said. “That’s something we need to learn – how to win.”