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Coaches report: Minot girls basketball HC Jason Schwarz

Robert Brewer/MDN Junior forward Elsie Hardy (25) shoots the ball from the low post in the early moments of Minot's home contest against Bismarck on Tuesday evening. Results from Tuesdays game will be available in the next edition of The Minot Daily News.

MDN: Record wise, is this where you expected your team to be at this point?

JS: We weren’t quite sure where we would be at this point. We returned only two players that had extensive varsity experience from a year ago. With that it mind, combined with our youth, we didn’t feel it would be a surprise if we had some growing pains.

MDN: What are some of the positives that you’ve seen out of the club thus far?

JS: Alexis Haider, as a senior, has really stepped her game up to another level and has always been a tremendous leader. She takes care of the team in so many ways on and off the court and has really shot the basketball well.

As a team, we’ve gained valuable experiences along the way that will only help us build into a stronger team as we prepare for the second half of our season and beyond. This group can shoot the ball really well, and that is our strength. We’re slowly figuring things out, and getting more comfortable playing with each other.

MDN: What areas of improvement would you like to address as the year continues?

JS: We need to get better defensively and with rebounding. These are simply areas of hard work. You can be a good defender and rebounder without great technique if you give the effort. Our effort level against the better teams has gone up recently, so we need that to continue. Another area we must get better, is our ability to protect the basketball. If we take care of the basketball, we shoot a high percentage, and that converts into more points on the scoreboard. That area is probably where our youth shows at times.

MDN: Talk about the impact of seventh grader Maggie Fricke and what has allowed her to blossom at the varsity level.

JS: Maggie has prepared herself like no athlete I’ve coached before. She’s put in a tremendous amount to time into becoming the best basketball player she can be. She’s been through the fire in many ways, and thus, has been able to handle most of the pressure situations other teams apply. She’s fit in very well, and is a leader in many ways. She’s one of our hardest workers, one of our best shooters, ballhandlers, and defenders.

MDN: Avery Lunde has also been a major contributor this year, in what ways has she helped your club so far?

JS: Lunde has been someone that we can count on in so many ways. She’s definitely a scorer, one of our better defenders, and has been asked to handle the basketball a lot.

MDN: Do you have any team goals you would like to reach by season’s end?

JS: Our daily goal is to be better than we were the day before. I think we’ve done that and are continuing to do that. We would still like to move up in the standings and see if we can finish in the top five.

After that, we’d like to be in a position to play in a state qualifying game. Coaches in the WDA believe that any of the teams ranked 2-7 all have the ability to beat each other. Our goal is to work toward being in a position to win a game to go to the state tournament.

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