The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

November 21, 2012

West girls basketball team taking a positive approach to season

MANKATO — Last season, many of the Mankato West girls basketball players were getting their first action on varsity, and the result was an 8-19 record.

With more confidence and experience, and a new head coach, the Scarlets are feeling good about showing improvement this season.

“We have a lot of energy that we didn’t have last year,” senior Kenzie Franke said. “The whole team has been more positive.”

West opens the season on Tuesday at Faribault, led by new coach Kristin Krusemark, who has been an assistant in the West program for the last two seasons.

“We’ve had a lot of positive energy in the gym,” Krusemark said. “The girls are excited. I think it’s a fresh start for everyone.”

The Scarlets are led by senior forward Cara Christiansen, who averaged 17.9 points and 14.5 rebounds. Krusemark said that Christiansen has been working to expand her game, from a back-to-the-basket post player to one with more shooting range that can beat defenders off the dribble.

“She’s played a lot of ball over the summer and open gym,” Krusemark said. “She’s ready to go.”

Wings Franke and Malorie Veroeven are the other seniors on the team. Franke averaged 6.1 points and 4.7 rebounds and led the team with 32 3-pointers. Veroeven averaged 5.6 points and 5.6 rebounds.

“I think it’s important that everyone gets involved in the offense,” Franke said.

Other returning players are junior center Lauren Resner, who averaged 3.8 points and 6.3 rebounds; freshman guard Lexi Schoper, who averaged 5.7 points, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals; and sophomore guard Sarah Buryska, who averaged 0.5 points and 2.0 rebounds.

“The younger girls have really been stepping up,” Franke said. “We lost some seniors that didn’t come out this year, but the younger girls have filled in. They’re not intimidated.”

Krusemark said she’s still trying to find some depth, but she’s been happy with the team’s work ethic. She thinks the team defense and a fast-paced style will lead to better results.

“We have a strong 1-2 punch with Cara and Lexi,” Krusemark said. “We need to have some other girls step up. A lot of these girls played (junior-varsity) ball last year.”

Franke said the goals are to have a winning record and finish in the top half of the Big Nine Conference. For that to happen, she said, the Scarlets will need to work together, stay positive and lean on better team chemistry.

“The coaches have high expectations for us,” she said. “And being my last year, I really want to have a positive ending.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Outdoors

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Marcus Spears: Cowboys Needs on Draft Day Could Bridgewater Make Scouts Look Foolish? NFL Draft: Will Manziel Be Off The Board By Pick No. 4? Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes Race to avoid Premier League relegation heats up The many faces of Mike Woodson Draft Preview: Ego Ferguson Chelsea, Atletico set to do battle in Champions League With The Twelfth Pick, The New York Giants Select... Rosenthal: Trout's contract was a compromise Trail Blazers battle back, overcome Rockets in OT Martinez slams home run to help Tigers top Angels With The Thirteenth Pick, The St. Louis Rams Select... Knicks Fire Mike Woodson Dramatic Moments of the Week: 4/14-4/20 Full Count: Stephen Drew best SS option for Tigers Let It Ride: NBA Playoffs - First Round Odds Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend NBA playoff preview: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder