TRC GIRLS BASKETBALL PREVIEW 2004-05 season in review: The TRC produced some great teams including a dominant Class A state champion in Elgin-Millville. The Watchmen won 31 games and advanced to state for the fourth straight year. But there were other str

2005-06 outlook: There could be a shift in power for the first time in five years in the TRC. St. Charles has a new coach but many of the same players from last season and the Saints should challenge E-M in the North Division. Kingsland looks like the powerhouse in the South Division, with four starters back from last year's excellent team. Chatfield with good height and Fillmore Central with lots of experience could give Kingsland a push.



ELGIN-MILLVILLE (31-2, 18-0) has an impossible act to follow after last year's march to the Class A state title. Head coach Clark Olstad has only one returning starter, 6-0 senior G Kali Olstad (13.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 4 apg) who has already signed to play college ball with her sister Candace at Division II Concordia University in St. Paul. Senior C Samantha Befort (6.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg) was first off the bench last year and will provide experience inside. Coach Olstad said some positions are unsettled yet. He will probably be utilizing many underclassmen. E-M was the highest scoring team in the area last year at 73 ppg.

ST. CHARLES (19-7, 13-5) will have a new direction this season as Lindsay Gust replaces John Barbier as head coach. Gust, 24, whose maiden name is Thompson, played high school basketball at Lewiston-Altura and college basketball at Winona State. She was an assistant coach at L-A the last two years. Gust will have some experience to work with because there was only one senior on last year's roster. The leaders are three of the top scorers in the TRC, senior G Paige DeVine (14.7 ppg), senior F Liz Miller (13.7 ppg) and junior C Amanda Degnan (11.3 ppg). Others with varsity experience are junior G Katie Loken and junior G Leanna Siebenaler. Also back are senior G Brittany Colvin and senior G Amber Motske.


LEWISTON-ALTURA (15-12, 11-7) had a successful overhaul last season, after coach Greg Wing replaced four starters from a team that won 25 games in 2003-04. Wing will have to do it again because he lost four starters from last year's team, and only four of his players have any varsity experience. The leader is 5-5 senior G Courtney Thompson (8.3 ppg, 2.9 spg, 3.0 apg). Others who'll move into the starting lineup are 6-0 senior C Melia Haugen (2.5 ppg), 5-6 senior G Chantel Ressie (1.9 ppg), 5-10 senior F Kylie Prudoehl (1.6 ppg) and 5-3 junior G Andrea Kalis (1.2 ppg). Wing said the Cardinals will have a good combination of size and quickness.

WABASHA-KELLOGG (14-10, 11-7) is coming off its first winning season in many years and fifth-year coach Rob Stewart believes the Falcons can keep improving. He's got a young team with only one senior, but he's got some size and experience to work with. Returning starters are 5-0 junior G/F Jackie Hust (11.0 ppg) and 5-11 junior F Anna Brehmer. Others with varsity experience are 5-8 senior F Molly Barton and 5-3 junior G Megan Gosse. W-K will have good height when 6-1 junior C Heather Mehrkens is on the court.

DOVER-EYOTA (8-17, 7-11) underwent an overall last year with five new starters and a new head coach, Brian Harris. Harris, 36, is back this year but his team is inexperienced with only four returning players. Two starters are back, senior C Kayla Briggs (8.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and senior PG Danielle Smith (6.9 ppg, 3.1 apg, 2.5 spg). Others with varsity experience are senior F Courtney Erickson (2.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg) and senior G Kirbie Mayer. Coach Harris will start eighth-grader Jodi Batzel at F and she should help in a variety of ways, he said. First off the bench are junior F Emily Back and freshman C Aimee Ihrke.

GOODHUE (6-19, 4-14) made good strides last season under new coach Dick Lodermeier, after he inherited a team that won only one game the year before. Lodermeier, 51, is back for a second season and he's got some familiar faces to work with in three returning starters and three who were top reserves. Returning starters are sophomore G Brittney Lodermeier (7.7 ppg), senior G Shanna Riesner (4.1 ppg) and junior F Alison Albers (4.0 ppg). Others with varsity experience are senior G Alyse Lexvold (2.7 ppg), sophomore F/C Abby NcNamara (1.2 ppg) and senior F Holly Klindworth. Coach Lodermeier said his team is still very young but will be quicker and deeper than last season.

PLAINVIEW (2-20, 2-15) had a tough season last year under new coach Rich Olson, who was the Gophers' third head coach in four seasons. Olson, 34, is back for his second year as coach. Four seniors will provide leadership, F Katrina Mueller, F Emily Halva, F Amy Kreofsky and G Anna Kreofsky. Juniors on the roster are G Courtney Walters, G Crystal Sheehan and G Kelsey Hermann. Sophomores Alise Holst and Jacklynn Larson will also play, along with freshman C Lindsey Olson.


KINGSLAND (25-3, 16-1) added another 20-win season last year under successful coach John Fenske, 38, who now owns a 222-78 record in 15 seasons. The Knights won't exactly be a darkhorse this season, either, with four starters back from last year. The leaders are junior G Paisley Larson (12.1 ppg, 3.9 apg), senior C Jenna Tammel (12.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg), junior C Kala Jensen (5.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg) and senior C Talea Ramaker (5.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg). Fenske said this will be the best athletic team he has ever had at Kingsland and he's looking forward to a great season.

CALEDONIA (19-7, 13-5) contended for the division last year with a team that averaged over 50 ppg, but two leading scorers graduated and now seventh-year head coach Scott Sorenson has some rebuilding to do. Three returning starters are a good place to start, with senior F Rachel Ellenz (6.9 ppg), junior G Jane Pettit (6.2 ppg) and senior G Kate Hanson (5.5 ppg). Sorenson has a 78-67 career record at Caledonia.


CHATFIELD (13-11, 10-6) coach Brian Baum had to make some big adjustments at the start of last season when he lost his starting center Brittany Gladis to a knee injury in the first game. Gladis is at RCTC now, but Chatfield will still present a tall challenge in the TRC South Division. Junior 6-2 C Hannah Mesick (7 ppg, 7.4 rpg) will be flanked by 5-11 senior F/C Chantel LaPlante (7 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and 5-11 senior F/C Tatum Greenslade. Junior 5-9 G Sara Harstad (2 ppg, 2 rpg) and 5-8 senior C Ashley Kester also have varsity experience. Coach Baum, 39, said his team should be solid near the basket but he's looking for perimeter shooting and more depth on his bench. This is Baum's 13th year as head coach.

FILLMORE CENTRAL (10-18, 5-12) looks poised to contend in the division with four returning starters and five more players with varsity experience. Head coach Tim Ostrom, 33, said this group has played a lot of basketball together and has good balance and determination. Senior F Chelsea Wand (10.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.1 spg) was out until mid-January last year with a knee injury but now she's healthy. Also back are senior F/C Tori Speer (6.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.4 apg), senior F Sierra Hovey (7.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.4 spg), and sophomore G Chelsea Nagle (6.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.0 spg).

RUSHFORD-PETERSON (8-18, 3-15) had a season of discontent last year as new head coach Tom Mackey had trouble matching the success of his predecessor, Mike Jeresek. Mackey, 53, resigned amid pressure from the community. The new coach is Matt Helgemoe, 34, who grew up in Peterson and graduated from Luther College. Helgemoe has some tools to work with as four starters return. The leaders are junior F Savannah Sawle (8.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and junior F Danielle Ruberg (5.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg). Also back are senior G Leah Christian and sophomore G Baily Vitse. R-P will miss junior F Melissa Smith (5.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg) who is out for the season with a torn ACL.

SOUTHLAND (4-20, 1-16) struggled again to score last season and finished with the same number of wins as the year before, and the year before that. The Rebels' leading scorers averaged only 4-6 ppg. Two starters are back, senior G Heather Wilson (4.1 ppg) and senior F Marie Boe (4.0 ppg). Eathan Riggan returns as head coach.

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