The Boyceville girls’ basketball team will have their work cut out for them this season as a fresh batch of newcomers step up into starting roles in their first year on the team.
The Bulldogs return to the court this year without the assistance of six key players, all of whom graduated in the spring. One of those players was Madysn Riek, a two-time all conference pick, who wrapped up her senior season leading the team with 15.2 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game. Riek earned honorable mention as a junior and was a first team all-conference selection her senior year.
Falling in line behind Riek last year were Cassie Malean and Morgan Kuhn, who averaged 7.6 ppg and 7.5 ppg, respectively. Emma Harnisch completed her senior season with 7.2 ppg and was the second leading rebounders with 6.2 rpg. Brooklyn Hellmann finished with 6.7 ppg.
The Bulldogs landed right in the middle of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference (DSC) during the 2016-17 season, finishing fourth just under Colfax with an 8-6 record and completing the season 14-9 overall. They blasted past Cadott 72-40 in the first round of the WIAA Division 4 playoffs before falling 47-41 to Osseo-Fairchild.
Out with the old,
in with the new
With the assistance of sophomore Rachel Prestrud — the only returning player on the team — five new upperclassmen will test their skills on the court and help build the foundation for what will be the Bulldog basketball team for the next two to four years.
But these upperclassmen are no strangers to the athletic world. Seniors Marissa Dormanen and Mariah Drury, along with juniors Alyx Bloom and Amber Retzloff just finished up the 2017 volleyball season together and will transfer that chemistry to the basketball court.
Returning sophomore Prestrud had seen her fair share of varsity minutes last year, playing in 20 of the season’s 23 total games and averaged 3.5 ppg and 1.2 rpg. She will be the bridge between the new-to-the-team upperclassmen and the fresh-legged underclassmen.
Other fresh faces who may see varsity minutes this year include junior Kanako Nakamoto and sophomores Anna Evenson, Taylor Grambow, Naomi Hillman, Megan Hintzman, Hannah Johnson, Tyra Kostman and Emma Ouellette.
Coach Jolene Bird enters her 21st year coaching the girls’ basketball team. Under her leadership, Bird has brought home three conference championships, eight regional titles and two sectional titles. She will be assisted by Jay Lagerstrom.
Bird’s expectations of the team are to work hard and stay competitive in every game. Within the DSC, Bird eyes both Colfax and Durand as the teams that will pose the greatest challenge to her young, inexperienced squad.
“I think they will be our top teams in the conference,” Bird said. “With Elk Mound and Mondovi being right up there as well.”
Bird’s main goals of the season are to work hard, play smart and to ensure a game is never lost due to being out hustled.
Boyceville’s season kicks off this week on the road with a non-conference match-up against Baldwin-Woodville.
Seniors: Marissa Dormanen, Mariah Drury
Juniors: Alyx Bloom, Kanako Nakamoto, Amber Retzloff
Sophomores: Anna Evenson, Taylor Grambow, Naomi Hillman, Megan Hintzman, Hannah Johnson, Tyra Kostman, Monica Miranda, Emma Ouellette, Rachel Prestrud
Freshmen: Jensine Boesl, Kady Grambow, Faith Harnisch, Chrissa Kersten, Mya Lagerstrom