Depth is key to Lions success in 2022-23

Falling just shy of the state tournament last year, the Bishop Ryan Lions girls’ basketball team is ready to get back on the court in 2022-23, where head coach Roger Coleman is aiming to get back to the region tournament and make some noise.

“Our goal is to get into the region tournament. We want to finish in the top four in districts and be competitive all year, then get into the region tournament and hopefully have some magic happen there so we can make it to the state tournament,” Coleman tells The Minot Daily News.

During the summer, Coleman shared that this feels like the most work they’ve done together in preparation for the upcoming season. With the extra work put in, Coleman is hopeful that translates to the court and makes the team more dangerous.

“Overall, we played a lot more basketball with each other in the offseason. Hopefully the extra work put in during the summer and the girls gaining more experience together is something that carrier over into the season more than it has in the past,” he said.

Not only do the Lions have more experience together heading into the season, but depth is expected to be one of the team’s strengths this year. Previously, this was something that was hard to come by for the Lions, but Coleman believes even though the team is young, their depth from top to bottom of the roster will benefit their play.

Returning to the Lions as the lone senior is Magee Rovig, who Coleman believes has already shown strong leadership skills around the team.

“Magee Rovig is going to be our only senior, so she will have to shoulder the load of leadership. She’s done that already for us over the last few years,” he said.

Additionally, Coleman expects Alena Johannsen to take on a larger role for the team. Last year, she was more of a role player and played the part well, but Coleman wants to see that role expand and to see her be an impact player on the offensive side of the ball.

Another young player expected to be a key contributor is Tochi Udekwe, who showed flashes of her potential at the end of last season. Coleman says that despite the Lions overall depth and talent across the board, these three girls are expected to be significant pieces to the team’s success.

It’s not just those three girls, however, who are expected to have an expanded role. With the team being young, the junior class should see expanded roles where they will fill in and make an impact.

“We have a junior class that is going to have to step up and replace the girls who moved on and those who are not playing this season.”

The Lions will begin their season on Nov. 29 when they hit the road to take on Westhope. Following that, the Lions will have a pair of games at the Minot Auditorium against Kenmare on Dec. 2 at 1 p.m. and another against Midway-Minto on Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m.


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