Buccaneer girls to play up-tempo game
Al Cue will be installing a new up-tempo offensive attack this year for the first time in his seven years of being the girls varsity basketball coach with the Blue Earth Area Buccaneers.
He admits that it will take some time to get used to.
“Historically, we have always had some size in the past,” Cue says. “This year we will need to rely on our speed and control our turnovers.”
Cue believes that the change will be good for his team because of the lack of size. He wants to push the ball on offense and really apply full court pressure on the defensive side of the ball.
“What we don’t have in size, we will make up with speed and quickness,” Cue explains.
Junior point guard Kaitlyn Olsen and senior forward Jenna Stevermer will be heavily relied on for leadership as they are the only two returning starters from the 2012-2013 season.
Taylor Grandgenett will also play and give the Bucs some speed in the back court. The sophomore guard will use her cross country experience to make hustle plays and move the ball down the court quickly. According to Cue, Grandgenett will be playing through a minor foot injury.
The only newcomer is Katrine Robertson, an exchange student from Denmark. She has looked promising and has shown good skills in practice so far, according to Cue.
Senior Zoe Thompson, junior Signe Olson, junior Mariah Twedt, sophomore Anne Franta, sophomore Paige Darrington, sophomore Annika Wilhelmi, sophomore Natali Fellows, sophomore Karli Olsen, sophomore Shayna Stevermer, sophomore Samantha Barslou and sophomore Samantha Ripley will also see some playing time for the Bucs this season.
The 2013-2014 Bucs are a young squad with a lot to prove. There are a total of two seniors, four juniors and nine sophomores.
To stay in basketball form, the BEA girls took part in a league format and tournament this last summer.
“We had a pretty successful showing,” Cue says. “I was quite happy with our results and how the girls looked. However, when we tried to go up-tempo last summer, it did get a little ugly at times with a lot of turnovers. We finished 8-3.”
The maroon and gold will be without Krista Hassing, a six-foot SCC All-Conference player, who graduated last year.
Also, Whitney Pirsig and Janessa Jahnke, who gave the girls some size in the post, graduated as well.
“We will miss those girls,” Cue says. “Hassing was a big part of our offense and grabbed a lot of rebounds for us over the years.”
Cue admits that their size might hurt them when it comes to playing bigger teams and defending the post.
“After a missed shot, we have to make sure to box out and limit our opponent to only one shot,” Cue says. “After the rebound we want to run and really try to push the tempo of the game.”
As for the rest of the South Central Conference, Cue believes that Fairmont is the favorite because of their experience and size. St. Peter and Waseca also have pretty good looking teams.
Also helping out will be coaches Nate Lund and Sara Petrowiak.
Lund will be the B- squad coach and Petrowiak will coach the C-squad team.
“Everybody loves to win, including me,” Cue says. “But, I tell the girls that the other part of the building is way more important. If everyone takes their class work seriously and does well, then they are the real winners, no matter what the scoreboard says.”