Winner High School girls basketball team will open the season on Dec. 8 at home when Wagner comes to town. This will be a Winner boys and girls doubleheader.
There are nine returning letterwinners. They include: Madyson Frazier, Gabby Kocer, Abby Marts, Gracie Littau, Alexis Richey, Madison Thieman, Morgan Hammerbeck, Maggie LaCompte and Bella Swedlund.
There is only one senior on the team, Madison Frazier.
Joining the Lady Warriors is a transfer student from Rapid City Stevens, Madi Kerner who is a junior. The two foreign exchange students attending Winner High School are also playing for Winner. Alina Weiler is from Germany and Yvonne Morana is from Italy.
There are a total of 25 girls out for basketball this season. There is a large junior class with 11 girls out with four sophomores, 8 freshman and an 8th grader.
The Lady Warriors finished last season with a 15-7 record. Graduated from that team are Sam Schuyler, Rachel Sherman, Chloe Bartels, Kyran Meek, Sydney Hollenbeck and Sidney Bohnet.
Coach Larry Aaker says the team is young with only one senior. However, the team has some experience. The only returning starter is Frazier but a lot of girls had significant playing time a year ago.
Aaker noted the eight other letterwinners had a lot of playing time. “So, we have some experience coming back. But it will be an adjustment moving into a starting role,” said the coach.
He noted the Lady Warriors will be competitive.
The main thing the team will work on is defense. The girls put in a lot of time over the summer working on their offensive skills.
“To be competitive, we have to defend and we need to do a better job than we have in the past,” noted the coach.
Looking at the top teams in Class A, Aaker says you have to look at St. Thomas More, three times state champions. He added that Winner’s region is loaded with teams like Little Wound, Pine Ridge and Todd County.
Sam Olson will be the assistant coach with Rob Cox as the volunteer coach.
The 2017-2018 girls basketball schedule includes:
Dec. 8-Wagner, home
Dec. 14—at South Central
Dec. 16—at Sully Buttes
Dec. 21—Bon Homme, home
Dec. 22—at Parkston
Dec. 28—Snowball Classic in Winner
Jan. 2—At Chamberlain
Jan. 4—Todd County
Jan. 6—At Gregory
Jan. 9—Valentine, home
Jan. 13—At Garretson Classic
Jan. 16—at Bennett County
Jan. 18—at Pine Ridge
Jan. 22—Miller, home
Jan. 26—at Mt. Vernon-Plankinton
Feb. 1—at Crow Creek
Feb. 3—CEB, home
Feb. 8—Platte-Geddes, home
Feb. 16—at Mobridge-Pollock
March 1—Sweet 16
March 8-10—State meet in Watertown