Milaca area high school basketball players will begin to pursue theirs as the 2012-2013 season gets underway.
•Milaca’s girls team opens the season Friday with a non-conference game at Kimball before traveling to Ogilvie for another non-conference game Tuesday, Dec. 4. Both games are at 7:30 p.m.
•Milaca’s boys team faces Pine City in a non-conference game Tuesday, Dec. 4, at Milaca. The Wolves remain at home Thursday, Dec. 6, against Ogilvie. The starting time is 7:30 for both.
•Faith Christian School’s boys and girls teams both open the season Tuesday, Dec. 4, at South Metro in Bloomington, with the boys playing at 6:15 p.m. and girls playing at 4:45. Both Saints teams are at Fourth Baptist of Plymouth Thursday, Dec. 6, with the girls game at 5:30 and the boys game at 7.
Dave Leom, who previously coached Milaca’s boys team, takes over as girls head coach.
“We’ve been working really hard at improving our overall skills and taking care of the important things like ball-handling, passing, shooting and communicating with each other on offense and defense,” said Leom.
The Wolves lost to Kimball 52-25 at Milaca in last year’s season opener and fell to Ogilvie 55-53 two weeks later.
“I don’t know too much about either Kimball or Ogilvie, except that they did defeat Milaca last season,” said Leom. “I expect we’ll be facing two pretty good teams.”
Ogilvie graduated six seniors from last season’s 13-12 team. That group accounted for 54 of the team’s 64 points per game, according to coach Michael Norton.
Senior forward Anna Munsterteiger and sophomore guard Cheyanne Nahring are returning starters for the Lions.
“We’re young and we hope to improves as we gain experience,” said Norton.
Leom hasn’t named a starting lineup for the opener.
“With 12 on the varsity, we could start any of the top eight or nine players,” he said. “At this point we are focused on who will be our finishers.”
The Wolves were 3-22 last season under first-year coach Amanda Wojciechowski.
Milaca’s Granite Ridge Conference opener is Friday, Dec. 7, against Mora at Milaca.
The Wolves were 2-22 last year in Dustin Naumann’s first season as head coach, with one of the victories being a 65-62 win at Pine City.
“Pine City’s coach is also starting his second season,” said Naumann. “Last year Pine City played an up tempo games and liked to pressure the ball, so, that’s what we’re expecting.
“Practice has went well. I was nice to see the guys pick up where we left off last spring.”
Naumann said 10 players are competing for starting positions.
“It’s early and we probably won’t be looking at filling the starting spots until the end of this week,” he said.
Milaca begins Granite Ridge Conference play at home against Mora Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Faith Christian boys
Don Andrews returns as Saints coach and he expects a tough opener against South Metro.
“South Metro is a group of home school families on the south side of the Twin Cities and we’re not sure what their lineup will be this year,” said Andrews. “We have had very close games with them over the last three seasons and anticipate more of the same this year.
“They normally have decent size and good quickness and that usually translates into some run-and-gun style play.”
The Saints return veterans at the forward and center spots and Andrews is looking for players to step up at the guard spots.
Faith Christian’s first home game is Dec. 11 against Chisago Baptist at 5:45.
Faith Christian girls
Veteran coach Mike Sohre returns a team that has some seasoned veterans, along with some promising younger players.
“Like many other teams, we’re trying to find out just where we’re at these first couple weeks of practice,” said Sohre.
The Saints’ first home game is Dec. 11 against Chisago Baptist at 4 o’clock.