Girls basketball looks to build up team

Julianna Poe, Sports Editor

Bouncing into the new season, the Manhattan High girls basketball team has their work cut out for them as they have lost four graduated starters from last school year.

“We’re definitely going to have to work together a lot more since it’s a brand new team from last year,” senior Gaby Martinez said.

Before heading into this year’s games, the girls bonded through summertime activities to grow as a team.

“We did a lot of stuff together over the summer with the girls and just ma[de] sure that everyone really gets the chance to know each other on and off the court,” senior Aloera Ostermann said.

Following the beginning-of-the-season meeting on Nov. 5, basketball tryouts have begun this week, with today and tomorrow left on the agenda. 

“I think we have some really motivated girls this year so we know the work that we’re going to have to put in to get where we want,” Ostermann said, “and the biggest thing for achieving [those goals] is going to be not only pushing ourselves but pushing each other.”

Returning players looking to score a spot on the Varsity team this year include seniors Ostermann, Martinez, Zeneya Cordus and Emily Ostermann as well as juniors Taylor Claussen and Jayden Weixelman.

“[The plan is to] just keep working every day [to] try to get every girl [to] fit into what their role is,” head coach Scott Mall said. “[But first we must] find their role, expand on their role and work together as a team.”

As the beginning of the basketball season approaches, the veterans of the Varsity team hope to welcome and connect with the incoming players. 

“For the new members of the Varsity team, I hope that we can give them … good experience and that they can become a part of the winning culture that we’ve … developed at MHS,” Ostermann said. “[The hope is to teach them that] basketball is about more than just a sport, it teaches you a lot of really good lessons … We hope to give them a really good stepping stone to be leaders for the girls that are coming up after them.”

The positions on the Varsity team look to welcome former Junior Varsity players. Martinez strives to encourage these players to keep their head in the game and to be prepared for faster play.

“[We all] definitely [need to] pay attention to all the plays that we have because we have a buttload of plays and one of them could come out that we’ve never played before,” Martinez said.

Directly after Thanksgiving break, the team will play an away tournament — Hays Shootout — Dec. 5-7. Last year, the girls placed second, winning two games against Thomas More Prep-Marian (53-32) and Hays (49-39), unfortunately falling to Saint Thomas Aquinas (36-48).

“We want people to know that we don’t really know what everyone’s expecting out of us this year,” Ostermann said, “but we are definitely willing to work hard and willing to put up a fight.”