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Only one way to go for Lady Trojans

Staff writer

Not a whole lot went right for coach Nathan Hiebert and the Lady Trojans basketball team during the 2016-17 season.

What could’ve been never was as the car just never got out of the garage.

Struggling in all phases of the game, the Trojans staggered winless through a minefield of a Central Kansas League season and a 5-16 record overall.

Without a go-to player and consistent offense, the Trojans were held under 25 points 10 times while being outscored 928-648 on the year.

The Trojans were more consistent defensively than they were on offense, limiting all but one opponent to less than 60 points. Hillsboro often was within striking distance, only to falter down the stretch.

Hiebert at least has the benefit of returning a pair of all-CKL selections in senior guard Sienna Kaufman and 5-11 wing Abby Sechrist.

The duo combined to average about 11 points a game to go along with 10 rebounds.

“We bring back three players with experience,” Hiebert said. “The positive is that they were some of our most productive players offensively and defensively. The experience should benefit us.”

Junior Trinity Malm is not afraid to get her hands dirty. The 5-8 Malm improved as the season wore on, providing valuable minutes off the bench along with toughness, energy, and the ability to scrap inside.

Malm should be a huge asset for the Trojans as she looks to improve her 2.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per game averages.

With Malm and Sechrist inside, the frontcourt may be the most stable facet of Hillsboro’s squad.

Other than Kaufman up top, nothing in the backcourt is certain, with returning upperclassmen lacking a wealthy amount of varsity experience outside of games that weren’t too far out of reach.

Eva Franz and Trinity Marler could challenge for minutes in the backcourt.

Beyond that, Hiebert’s left with a freshman group that could be a year away from turning the tide at Hillsboro.

“We have a nice group of freshmen,” Hiebert said. “It’s a little early for me to say too much specifically, but there’s a nice mix of guard and post skills in that group. They’ll get opportunities to help our team out this year.”

At the top of that list is Teegan Werth, Kinsey Kleiner, Tuesday Wiesbeck, Jessica Saunders, and Dani Klein.

The freshmen corps enjoyed winning seasons at the junior high level and should provide depth immediately despite being wet behind the ears.

“My biggest concern going into the season is our inexperience,” said Hiebert. “I’m still interested to see how the girls handle the stress of a live game situation.

“We need to be composed on offense and improve on our offensive efficiency. Defensively, we will need to use it to create easier opportunities on the offensive end.”

Last modified Nov. 30, 2017

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