Bucs bring experienced starters to the court
The once ‘young’ team is back for the 2014-2015 season, but this time they have the age and experience.
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers girls basketball team is preparing for an improved year of ball.
Coach Al Cue says that this was a team who had been referred to as young, but now they have returned year after year making them now an experienced team.
“Now they need to show they are older and they need to play that way,”?Cue adds.
Four of the starters from last season will return as starters again this year, and the coach says eight of the top nine players from last year will be back on the court again this year as well.
The varsity girls basketball team this year includes:?Samantha Ripley, Anikka Wilhelmi, Shayna Stevermer, Paige Darrington, Natali Fellows, Nyla Anderson, Caitlin Rorman, Anne Franta, Taylor Grandgenett, Karli Olsen, Mariah Twedt, Samantha Barslou, Signe Olson, Kaitlyn Olsen and Annaliese Klinkner.
“A couple of these girls, this will be their third year as starters,” the Buc coach says.
According to Cue, most of the other teams in the conference had young teams the last couple of years, too.
“So, probably all the teams in conference will be better this season,” he says.
The switch to the Big South Conference will not seem to affect the Bucs too much, according to the coach.
“The BSC will have very little impact,”?he says. “The only difference will be the crossover game in February.”
The first team the Bucs will face this season is the United South Central Rebels who they will play on Tuesday, Dec. 2, in Blue Earth at 7:30 p.m.
“They are a tall team,”?Cue explains. “They top out with a 6-foot-2 player and have a 6-foot-1 and 6-foot players.”
The same cannot be said for the maroon and gold this year.
“We are lacking height again this year,” he says.
The Buccaneers will have one player this season topping out at six feet tall, otherwise their next tallest player will be at 5-foot-7.
“They are all good athletes and they will rely on their quickness,” Cue adds. “There will definitely be a contrast of styles during the first game against USC.”
The Buc coach hopes the girls do not spend their time focusing on their wins and losses though. He has bigger goals in mind.
“My goal is always to make sure they enjoy the game and enjoy each other,”?he says.
And so far, he has been impressed with the communication and chemistry with the teammates.
“They feed off of each other,” he says. “And that is definitely a strength.”
The coach adds that he has been impressed with Signe Olson, Kaitlyn Olsen and Mariah Twedt and the leadership they have already shown this season.
Twedt, however, is still healing from an injury which she got while playing volleyball earlier this year.
“Mariah hopes that if all goes well she will dress by the end of the year,”?Cue says.
Despite not being able to play she has attended every practice and has participated with her team, emerging along with Signe Olson and Kaitlyn Olsen as leaders to their teammates.
The Buccaneers are returning many experienced players this season, who also have been keeping on top of their skills in the off-season.
“The girls played a lot of basketball this year some played summer leagues and a couple even played fall ball,”?he says.
Cue hopes for a good season and is proud of the effort he has already seen at practices.
“I continue to be impressed at how hard they work,”?he says.
After their first game against USC?on Dec. 2, they will also travel to New Ulm on Friday, Dec. 5.