Written by Andrew Ottoson Tuesday, 28 November 2006 18:00The GHS girls will receive contributions from six returning starters and three more upperclassmen this season. Pictured are: back row (from left), senior Brittany Dirksen, sophomore Rinda Duerksen, senior Kory Hiebert and senior Courtney Berkholz; front row, senior Kylee Nikkel, senior Trenae Wilson, junior Katie Flaming and junior Jennifer Raymond. Not pictured is Caitlin Goertzen.
Six players who started for the Goessel girls' basketball team are back with an opportunity to make some noise in the Heart of America League this season.
In 2005-06, the team went 6-7 in league play-10-11 overall-and is coming off a loss to Little River in the regional semifinals last year.
But with four returning starters in their senior year, the Bluebirds have a strong core that has tasted the smorgasbord of success.
Headlining the seniors is 6-feet, 2-inch center Kory Hiebert, who gives the team an uncommon interior presence and causes an instant matchup problem for many teams in the HOA.
Hiebert averaged 15 points and 8 rebounds per game.
Goessel's biggest offensive weapon was also selected for the All-HOA second team.
Forward Courtney Berkholz, also a senior, averaged 10 points and five rebounds.
"(Our) inside post play will be strong," coach Brian Holloway said.
GHS also has three strong options on the perimeter, with senior guards Trenae Wilson and Brittany Dirksen complemented by junior guard Katie Flaming.
Wilson played the point position last year and averaged four points and four assists per night.
Dirksen provided one perimeter scoring option, Flaming provided another, and each averaged five points per game.
Flaming and Wilson each averaged three steals per game.
"Our ability to shoot from the perimeter will be much improved from a year ago," Holloway said.
Sophomore forward Rinda Duerksen joined the varsity squad as a 5-9 freshman. Duerksen averaged 10 points and seven boards in a stellar campaign and will be relied on for post play again this year.
The Bluebirds will turn to three other upper classmen for contributions this season: 5-9 senior forward Caitlin Goertzen, 5-7 senior guard Kylee Nikkel, and 5-5 junior guard Jennifer Raymond.
With the number of players the team has coming back, the season outlook is pretty good, according to Holloway.
At the same time, the team does not have a lot of depth and lacks experience along its bench, he said.
With 11 years and 117 wins under his belt as head coach, Holloway will be working to teach this team what it takes to win.