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Elmwood girls' hoops team begins anew

ELMWOOD – Defending Dunn-St. Croix Conference champion Colfax and their 21-game conference winning streak is probably not the kind of foe the Elmwood High School girls basketball team wants to its season with Tuesday at Elmwood (tip-off 7:30 p.m.)

Not when the Raiders have to replace five starters from last season, Including All Dunn-St. Croix Conference selectee McKayla Brunner along with Ally Pax, Janessa VandeBerge, Megan Geraets and Heidi Webb.

The Raiders have just one senior in Danielle Martineau and handful of returning letter winners in juniors Justine and Jennifer Weix, Kaitlyn Lee and sophomores Shelby Hall and Liz Fredrickson, who is out until late January with a injury.

“We’re a very inexperienced team,” EHS head coach Mike Birtzer said. “We have girls who will play hard and hustle and but are very young and going to have to fill roles they never really had to before.”

Such roles include leading the team in scoring and rebounding from those now gone from last season’s 7-16 squad, 4-12 in the D-SC.

Elmwood will have to choose from Hall or Lee or sophomore Addie Morell at point guard to with the Weixs in the frontcourt

The make-up of the team will require an up-tempo offense predicated on pressure defense according to Birtzer.

“We have to be aggressive and physical on defense and play up tempo on offense,” Birtzer said. “We need to force turnovers and need to beat our opponents down the floor in order to be in the best possible position to score points. We’re basically going to have to outscrap teams this season.”

It will be tough league once again for the Raiders to compete in. Birtzer says the favorites are Colfax, Mondovi, Elk Mound, Boyceville and Glenwood City,

“We hope to learn something new about the game each day, get better with each day this season and continue to have fun doing so,” Birtzer said.