The Night Hawk girls tied for third place in Region 7 last season with Heart River, both finishing with 8-3 records. Although they graduated three seniors in Molly Holt (All-Region 7 player), Callie Anderson and Justice Anderson, they return a solid team and should compete for the Region 7 title.
For the record
Last season’s Region 7 winner Killdeer graduated two All-Region 7 players in Sydney Anderson and Tray Murray. Anderson was also named second team All-State. Bowman County finished second but graduated All-Region 7 player Meggie Fischer. Heart River graduated four seniors including All-Region 7 players Bailey Olson and Ashlyn Privratsky.
Head Night Hawk Coach Kelly Pierce provided his analysis of the team: “We have had a great week of practice to start the season. We have high expectations as a team and are working hard each day to improve. We have a lot of returning talent. We will be very balanced with a couple of experienced players returning in the post and dynamic players on the wing. We have several players that have played key roles in 3rd place finishes in Region 7 the past couple of years. This experience is definitely strength for the team.”
“We should be a very fun team to watch. The team will be able to get up and down the floor and should be able to use their athleticism to put pressure on our opponents both defensively and offensively. Many of our players put in a great deal of time in the off-season and their improved skills on the floor have been evident through our first few practices. The team knows that Region 7 will once again be very competitive. There are several teams that could make a run at the regional title, and we feel we have the pieces in place to be one of those teams.”
“Returning players looking for a spot on the varsity team are as follows:
Abbie Kludt – is a returning All Region 7 performer from the past two seasons and is entering her 5th year as a varsity contributor. She will once again play a point forward position with us and really makes our transition game go. She is an elite level passer and has a great understanding of the game, 10 ppg, 8.6 reb/gm, 120 assists, 102 steals”.
Briana Sanford – is a returning post player for us. She really understands the small details that allow a post player to be successful. Her footwork is very sound which will allow her to get the angles needed to create shots in the post, 4.1 pts/gm, 3.2 reb/gm.
Abbi Steeke – is a player that can bring some toughness and hustle to the floor. Abbi will give us depth on the perimeter and will be instrumental in making our pressure defense effective.
Alyssa Andress – has been a 3 year varsity contributor and is our leading returning scorer from last year. She is one of the best athletes in Region 7. She can score in a variety of ways and really uses her athleticism in transition. She played a lot of high level basketball this past summer and has improved many skills that were already at a high level, 11.5 pts/gm, 2.3 rebs/gm, 83 assists.
Quinn Mellmer – has the ability to be a very solid player for the Hawks this year. She is a very cerebral player that always seems to be in the right position. She will be a player that can create some issues for opposing teams with her length defensively and us a very steady offensive player that knows where the ball needs to be for us to be successful.
Carolyn Schultz – another player that will be key to our success as a team. She is a very strong defender both on and off of the ball. She is a much improved shooter from the perimeter and this skill set will assist us in being able to space the floor. Her hustle will create problems for many of our opponents.
Samantha Oase – a returning starter for us in the post. She is a dominant defender and a player that has a major impact on both ends of the floor. She played a lot of basketball this summer with and against many top level athletes in the Midwest. Her ability to score the basketball has improved dramatically, as well as her understanding of player positioning. The sky is the limit for Samantha, as Prep Girls’ Hoops Dakotas ranks her as the #2 recruit in North Dakota for the 2021 class of athletes, 10.3 pts/gm, 7.7 reb/gm, 61 blocks.
Beth Lien – is a guard in the program that brings great energy to the court. She will be a key JV player and one with continued growth could earn important minutes at the varsity level.
Casitee Miller – is a post player who we hope can develop and provide us with depth in the post this season and in the years to come.
Sidra Sadowsky – a guard who will be a key JV player for us this year and vital to us having quality practices.
Katrina Poss – is another guard that will play JV and assist us in creating high quality practices.
Bailee Pierce – is a guard who has put in a tremendous amount of time in the gym. She spent her summer playing AAU basketball and her skill development has been very good. She will provide some outside shooting for the team and her knowledge of the game can allow her to help the team achieve its goals.”
“Other Night Hawks on the team include the following freshmen; Madison Wilson, Anna Havelka, Irish Morris, Naomi Salazar, Cassie Kindsfater, and Ivory Hanson. They will compete and grow as players at the sub varsity level with their eyes set on improving skills and gaining experience so they will be key varsity contributors for the Night Hawks in the years to come.”
“I will be assisted by Coach Eric Kelner and Coach Jen Fordahl. Both coaches are very knowledgeable and will work hard to continue to grow this program. We have high expectations for each and every athlete in the program. We will demand hard work and energy, but most of all we will continue to make representing our communities and schools in a positive way the number one focus of our program.”
“We hope we can provide a great brand of basketball for all Night Hawks fans to watch. We would love to see the gym rocking each and every game! We invite all Night Hawk fans to come out and support this team as they work to achieve their high level goals. It is a great time to be a Night Hawk.”