Majettes title defense begins with daily improvement approach
Putting together a banner raising season in 2021-22 which saw the Minot High girls’ basketball team crown themselves as state champions, the team is hungry and ready to run it back. In doing so, however, they are focusing more on a daily approach than looking further ahead.
“Obviously our goal is going to be to finish the way we did last year but it’s not going to be our focus every day. What we do need to focus on is our day-to-day activities. We are not focused on the results, we need to focus on the process,” Majettes head coach Jason Schwarz tells The Minot Daily News.
When taking a daily approach, Schwarz would like to see the team come into each day looking to be better than the day before and making sure the team continues to work hard. If they do that, he believes things will take care of themselves.
As the team is coming off a state title run, it’s easy for them to have sky high expectations. They earned the right to do so. Schwarz, however, wants to keep the expectations level and not let the team get complacent heading into the year.
“This is a grind, it’s a long season. Every time we step on the court, we are a target for other teams. Our goal is to bring our A game every night anyways, but more so because we are going to get everyone’s best shot,” he said.
Winning a state championship is the most difficult task during the season and aside from the rush of almost surreal feelings it brings upon the team, it also helps them learn a lot about themselves individually and learn a lot about the team. One thing that Schwarz sees in his team now that didn’t surface as frequently before the title run is their increased confidence.
“I saw a more confident group this summer when we played. There was a new aura about them, you could see it and sense it. I see it in the open gyms, they have been more competitive than they’ve ever been.”
Confidence is a trait that Schwarz believes the program lacked in the past. Now with demonstrated success, he hopes that the confidence they have built is something that continues to linger throughout all levels of the program for a long time.
Throughout the off-season, Majettes players put forth valiant efforts to improve their games. They got together as a team for a variety of activities, as well as open gyms that began this fall. Additionally, there are multiple athletes who play other sports, so they will enter camp in great shape and ready to go. Overall, Schwarz is pleased with where the team is at heading into the season.
Now that the off-season has just about wrapped up and the team will begin regular season play soon, there is excitement building around the program and with those returning from last year as they hope to make it another special season.
Among those returning to the Majettes squad, Schwarz expects big things out of his seniors in Maya Aguilar and Taury Hight, with Hight sliding back into a starting role this year. Joining those two will be Avery Lunde, who is a two-time all-conference player. Schwarz believes that Lunde can be an offensive catalyst for the Majettes squad, as well as a leader on defense.
Rounding out the starting rotation are none other than Leelee Bell and Maggie Fricke, who are coming off remarkable All-State seasons as eighth graders. The dynamic duo averaged over 15 points per game each, as they look to continue to be impact players for the Majettes.
However, when a team is as successful as Minot was last year, it takes a lot more than the starting five to generate that success. Presley Bennett was someone who was a major contributor off the bench last season and will assume that important role once again. Additionally, Schwarz shared that he believes Karew Lamoureax as a player that can make a jump in their role this season.
“We have quite a few players in our program that can go and win spots. A lot of girls are putting time and effort into their game so they can earn a spot or steal a spot. There will be a lot of people competing, it’s going to be a lot of fun,” he said.
The Majettes will see all their hard work come together and begin their title defense soon, as the team is set to begin their season on the road. Their first game will be on Friday, Dec. 2 when they head to Fargo to face West Fargo. The first home game for the Majettes will be on Dec. 10 when they host Dickinson.