By PATRICK SLACK
Last year’s graduating class left the Little Falls girls basketball team with big shoes to fill, none bigger than the departure of all-state center Whitney Weisz.
Senior Jamie Jenks will lead the charge in trying to fill the void on a team that went 7-5 in the Granite Ridge Conference a year ago, returning as the team’s starting point guard and second leading scorer and rebounder.
Also looking to fill out the starting five and compete for playing time are seniors Amber Hines (post), Katie Stewart (post) and Chantelle Anderson (guard), juniors Gabby Nouis (post), Jennifer Ronning (post) and Laura Moe (guard), sophomore Kendra Pohlman (guard) and freshman Melanie Dorn (guard).
Seniors on this year’s team include Jenks, Hines, Stewart, Anderson and Danielle Schelonka, with Annie Ploof, Mariah Burns, Britian Conley, Jennifer Hortness, Makayla Jorgensen, Weisz and Michaela Gau graduating from last year’s roster.
In order to fill the gap and improve as the season goes along, everyone will have to contribute, Little Falls head coach Trent Grams said.
“One hundred percent effort will be expected defensively,” he said. “We need to develop great team chemistry as none of the girls other than Jenks started on the varsity team a year ago.”
Albany and St. Cloud Cathedral will be the teams to beat in the conference, Grams said, with several others close behind.
“We are very excited to get the season going and maybe surprise some teams along the way,” he said.
Little Falls opens the season at Alexandria, Tuesday, with its home opener versus Pierz, Thursday.