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Senior-laden HNS squad has big goals this season

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HARTINGTON - With eight seniors leading the way, the Lady Wildcat basketball team looks to march into the basketball season and avenge a District finals loss in volleyball.

Hartington-Newcastle brings back three starters, as well as some experienced seniors that have not seen the court recently due to injury last year. Belle Harms, Gina Jueden, Willa Scoville, and Liby Lange are five returning seniors, and they are joined by classmates Evvie Krie, Hailey Gottsche, Grace Jansen, and Ellie Stencel to round out the eight seniors on the varsity team this year.

Krie, Gottsche, and Stencel are all coming off of injury, while Jansen joins the team, and hasn’t played since eighth grade.

Head coach Corey Uldrich says he is looking at lots of contributors, but three returning starters will look to lead the way.

“We have three starters back. I think a lot of it will start inside with Belle Harms. She is very athletic for a girl her size, and she moves so well that we are going to try to find ways to get her involved in the offense a lot.”

Uldrich continued by saying Abbe Morten and Willa Scoville were the other two starters, and both have the ability to make a lot of shots. Last year, Scoville set the single-game record for most points scored with 30. Morten led through the course of the season, averaging a team-high 12.3 points per game.

Uldrich is taking over the reins this year for the program. Marcus Messersmith was the previous coach for the Lady Wildcats, but he accepted a job at Laurel-Concord-Coleridge and will help with that girls’ team this year.

Uldrich previously has two years of head coaching experience in girls basketball. During his junior and senior years in college, he was the head coach at Allen.

Uldrich says the team will play in a very similar system as years past, to help with any transition. An obstacle that will need to be overcome is replacing two valuable seniors from last years team. Allie Rosener led her team with over three steals per game, and Karli McCain was an essential role player that could flow from point guard to center.

The Wildcats depth will make up for those losses, with HNS potentially being able to feature rotations as deep as 10 or 11 girls.

Hartington-Newcastle begins the season on Thursday, hosting Ponca in Hartington. The team then travels to Emerson-Hubbard on Saturday, and to Wakefield-Allen on Tuesday.