Area girls basketball preview: Cass Lake-Bena appears to be willing to improve
CASS LAKE — Bill Gustafson is the new coach at Cass Lake-Bena and he inherited a team that includes three seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen.
The Panthers have played only one game so far, a 65-25 loss to Crosby-Ironton. Another game against Red Lake was postponed because of the recent snowstorm.
“The team has demonstrated a willingness to improve, both on the fundamentals and their conditioning,” Gustafson said. “We have a good mixture of centers, forwards and guards and I expect good support from our bench at all positions.”
Leading the Panthers are captains Cree Whitebird (senior) and Mariah Reyes (junior). The other seniors are Brandi Dahmen and Kelsey Burns. The junior cast includes Alexa Brunelle, Antonia Archambault, Tifani Ellis and Meghan Brun while Shiela Devault, Tia Dahmen and Danica Staples are the sophomores.
Also on the roster are freshmen Nicole Fairbanks, Candace Jacobs and Deanah Johnson.
“One of our team goals is to improve our defense, and to attain that the players all need to be more physical and aggressive,” Gustafson said. “And the players have shown a work ethic and have leadership skills.”
RED LAKE — The Warriors’ roster includes seniors Sara Mountain and Aeryn Driulliard plus juniors Jerrell Fairbanks, Seleasha Roy, Kennedy Barrett, Ryshayna Johnson, Alicia Lussier, Katelyn Barrett and Tatianna McClain.
The lone sophomore is Averi Holthusen while Aubrey Graves, Grace White and Sam Roy are the freshmen and Alexis Desjarlait is an eighth grader.
CLEARBROOK — The Bears dropped their first three games, falling to Goodridge-Grygla, Kittson County Central and Bagley. Today they will battle Mahnomen and on Friday they will visit Nevis.
Leading C-G are seniors Esther Kjolhaug, Hayley Reichert and Ashley Groshong. The juniors are Rachel Gray and Lauren McIntosh while Rachel Spray and Madison Stenzel are the sophomores.
Also on the early-season roster are freshmen Samantha Mart, Hannah Lavin, Alison Johnson, Liz Bodensteiner and Carlie Bergerson.
LAPORTE — The Wildcats will be hampered by low numbers as the roster lists only nine varsity players.
Laporte dropped its first two games, losing 74-40 to Walker-Hackensack-Akeley and 69-31 to Blackduck. On Saturday the Wildcats will host Lake of the Woods.