Returning seven letterwinners from a regional title team — including five seniors — the Menomonie girls basketball team has the pieces to put together a successful season.
“We’ll be working hard to be competitive each night. We have some unselfish kids that like playing with each other and get along quite well,” Menomonie’s fourth-year coach Storm Harmon said. “We look forward to growing with each other (this season).”
The Mustangs are tasked with replacing the production of first team-all conference selection Tyra Boettcher and six other letterwinners from a team that went 14-11 overall and finished tied for fourth at 5-7 in the Big Rivers Conference last season.
Menomonie will be led by seniors Kylie Mogen — a second team all-conference performer last season who signed to play at Michigan Tech in November — and Lindsey Johnson, the team’s two returning starters.
Mogen averaged 16 points, six rebounds and 2 blockers per game last year and Johnson put up 8 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Other players who return after seeing significant minutes last season are seniors Destiny Haldeman and Lexi Hastings.
“We seem to really enjoy playing with each other,” Harmon said of the team’s chemistry. “They challenge each other in practice and have smiles on their faces when they go at each other.”
Senior Claire Schoenberger and juniors Emily Schwartz and Olivia Steinmetz could see more time this year after limited minutes a season ago and freshman Shelby Thornton, Helen Chen and Bella Jacobsen could also make an impact in their first varsity season.
The Mustangs are 2-1 to start the year after a nonconference loss to open season against Tomah and a victory over La Crosse Logan followed by a win the Big Rivers opener against Rice Lake on Tuesday.
The team returned to action on Friday night at Eau Claire Memorial and has a nonconference home game versus La Crosse Logan on Tuesday and a league game at Chippewa Falls on Friday.
While Harmon feels the Mustangs have a good group to work with competition in the Big Rivers is always a battle and he knows the team will have to be consistent each game to achieve success.
“The BRC is always very tough. If you don’t show up with your best stuff each night you are likely to get it handed to you,” Harmon said. “We are just going to be patient, take it day by day and try and figure out how we can combine our powers to be the best we can by the end of the season.”