Brainerd Girls Basketball: Inexperienced, But Determined
If you’re a fan of the Brainerd girls basketball team, you can expect to see some new faces on the court this year. Brainerd’s had back-to-back 17-win seasons, but now they have to start from scratch as they have an almost completely new roster.
“Weaknesses…our experience,” Troy Nelson, Brainerd Girls Basketball’s Head Coach, said.
Three. That’s the number of returning players for the Brainerd High School girls basketball team. After graduating eight seniors from last year’s squad, the Warriors first priority was to integrate their new teammates.
“They are learning pretty well,” junior forward Grace Zimmerman said. “It is a bit different since last year we had so many returning [players], and this year it’s a lot of new [players], but it’s been going pretty well.”
The new team has begun to click, and that can be attributed to great leadership.
“Our captains have done a great job of pulling the kids together, and making sure everyone is involved and everyone is having fun,” Nelson said.
“Well, we are really now just starting to bond,” Courtney Russell, senior point guard, said. “So, it’s been interesting, but we are getting there.”
If the Warriors want to continue their winning ways, Coach Nelson says the captains have to take another step forward.
“It’s been my goal for a while to be a leader of this team,” Zimmerman said. “I really want to make this program better, so pushing the younger girls is what I have to do.”
Along with playing hard and giving 100 percent, one of the Warriors’ goals this year is to beat Moorhead and Alexandria.
“Those teams have always been a struggle,” Russell said. “We haven’t beaten Moorhead in a while, and Alexandria has always been one of our biggest competitors.”
Brainerd took a lot of people by surprise last season, hosting a game in the sectional tournament, and now they don’t want to take a step back.
“We’ve been surprised, we thought coming in it might be a rebuilding year, but the kids have been doing a great job,” Nelson said. “We’ve had a scrimmage already that we preformed pretty well in, so we are hoping that it’s not too much of a rebuilding year, and that we can go in and compete.”
The basketball season has arrived, and it’s only a matter of time until we find out if this young Warriors squad is ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
Brainerd welcomes in five teams for a tournament at Forestview Middle School this Saturday, November 24th, and then their first real test will be on the road against Alexandria Tuesday, November 27th.