Eye on Southwest ND Sports

I got with Night Hawk Girls Head Coach Kelly Pierce and asked him about this years basketball team. He gave me some very good insights on the team. I know I’m looking forward to when the season starts. GOOD LUCK Night Hawks.
By Sheldon Christenson
For the Record
Hettinger-Scranton Night Hawks Girls Basketball Preview
Team Strengths:
The team strength for the Night Hawks will be our ability to get up and down the floor. We have quite a few athletes that will allow us to play up tempo both offensively and defensively. Our perimeter players can get into the paint and create scoring opportunities for teammates. We also have some young post players that will assist us in becoming a more balanced team.
We had a great summer program as the girls really put some time in trying to become better athletically. They are a great group of girls who work well together as a team. The team is still very young, but many return with experience from last season. That experience can only assist the team as it looks to improve its 3rd place finish in Region 7 a year ago.
Team Weaknesses:
Rebounding will be an area where we need to get better. Our philosophy is one shot and done. Last year we played great first shot defense, but we gave up too many second chance opportunities. We must rebound so we can get out and push the tempo. We will be a bigger team this year so hopefully this can assist us in this area.
This past year, the Night Hawks relied on the perimeter players to score the majority of points. We need to improve out balance on the offensive end by getting more scoring from the post positions and off of offensive rebounds. With the young players we have looking for more varsity minutes this year, this are should improve from a year ago.
Team Expectations:
The team has set their expectations very high for this season. After finishing 3rd in Region 7 last season, we know with continued improvement in the little details of the game we can compete in a loaded region once again. The number one goal is to continue to improve on a daily basis. We will have a very athletic team and our expectation is to play a fun brand of basketball. Region 7 has the super-regional format and will be wide open this year with many experienced and talented teams. It should be a fun year as all region teams will beat on one another throughout the season. Whoever peaks at tournament time will have a shot at making a run. We hope to be one of those teams.
Player Profiles:
Abbie Kludt – is a great all-around player and returning All-Region player. As a sophomore she put up all-state type numbers in leading the Night Hawks in scoring (289-12 ppg), rebounding (207-8.6 rpg), assists (143-6 apg), and steals (97). She is our team leader and coach on the floor. She plays a point forward position for us and drives our transition game with her high basketball IQ. Heading into her junior season, she looks to continue to improve her overall game and lead the Night Hawks to our overall team goals. She is an all-state level talent that can continue to get better and better.
Molly Holt – is a returning All-Region guard. Molly is extremely quick which allows her to get to the basket in the half court and run the floor in transition. She is a very great shooter from the perimeter and she is not scared of taking the big shots. She will once again be a scoring leader for the Night Hawks, but will become much more than that as she looks to take over a leadership role as a returning senior with 3 years of varsity experience. She has the ability to be a lockdown defender and she will be asked to guard the opponent’s best player throughout the year.
Alyssa Andress – is a natural scorer from both the mid-range and in attacking the basket. She is a very good athlete who can create problems with opposing teams by getting out and running the floor. Going into her sophomore season she could very well lead the Night Hawks in scoring. She is always in attack mode and will only continue to get better. As a freshman she improved her rebounding and will be looked to help the Night Hawks become a better rebounding team. She is a great athlete that puts in the time which will allow her to become a great basketball player.
Callie Anderson – is a very smart guard who improved immensely from her sophomore to her junior year. She is a great rebounder for her size and understands all of the concepts we are trying to implement.
Samantha Oase – is a young post player that the Night Hawks will look forward to having in the middle. As an 8th grader she earned minutes on the varsity down the stretch of the season. She is a dynamic player that the team has not had in years. She can be a dominant defensive player and is developing into a weapon on the offensive end. She is going to be a very fun player to watch over the next 4 years.
Abbi Steeke – has waited patiently for her turn at the varsity level the past few years. She is a physical guard that plays great defense and is a good rebounder. She has shown a lot of improvement on the offensive end of the floor and will be very important part of the rotation this upcoming season.
Briana Sanford – is a post player that has a knack for scoring the basketball. She has developed into a very solid post defender and is improving her ability to rebound the basketball. She will play a lot of minutes in the post this season and will be need to be at her best if the team is to achieve it’s goals.
Justice Anderson – is a post player that can bring a physical presence to the floor. She has a very nice touch around the basket. The Night Hawks will need her to become a defensive presence and a physical rebounder of the ball. If she does those 2 things, she can earn a lot of minutes this season.
Quinn Mellmer – is a very good young basketball player. . Has spent time improving her offensive game and is a great team defensive player. She has instincts that just can’t be taught and has the athleticism that allows her to impact a game on both ends of the floor. She will play a huge role for this team this coming season.

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