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Spring Valley girls hoops hopes for continued success

SPRING VALLEY - Trying to move up in the standings of such a competitive and top-heavy league as the Dunn-St. Croix Conference is when it comes to girls' basketball is not easy.

But Spring Valley High School's team will try to do so and thinks it can do this season with 10 returning letter winners back from a 4-19 squad which finished at the bottom of the D-SC last season at 1-15. 

The record may not seem like much but four wins was more than the zero wins they had in the 2011-12 season. 

"We were successful in context," SV's second-year head coach Brady Hoolihan said. "We had a few more wins and competed hard in almost every game, which that's not easy to do in tough league like the D-SC. We have a long way to go but we made progress last season."

Hoolihan believes the Cardinals can make further progress this season with an experienced line-up which includes senior Emily Boisen, who was honorable mention All D-SC last season, along with fellow seniors Nevada Schlegel, Tana O'Keefe and Brianna Wyss. Returning junior letter winners include  Ellen Brorson, Taylor Leach, Cassie Quinn and Sam O'Brien. Sophomore letter winners back for this season are Becky Fesenmaier and Christa Brorson. The only graduating senior from last season's team was Emily Hofacker.

"We feel like we have talent in more positions and more depth than last season,"  Hoolihan said. "That's important because it's going to take a team effort to get more wins. We're going to need 10-12 players each game to make a difference. You're probably not going to see one player stick out more than the rest. Everyone is going to need to given something when it comes to scoring or rebounding."

Boisen will be the team's primary ball-handler with Christa Brorson as her back-up. O'Keefe will also be in the backourt and Schlegel and Fesenmaier will handle the positions near the basket on offense and defense. Boisen and Schlegel are the team's two rtop returning scorers with Boisen averaging 10.1 points per game and Schlegel 8.3 ppg. 

"I believe we'll have a good balance of guard and forward play this season," Hoolihan said. "Our ball handling, shooting, knowledge of the game and enjoyment of basketball is far ahead of where we were last year at this time we hope those factors can lead to more wins."

But winning is also going to take confidence as well, especially with four strong clubs at the top of the conference in Colfax, Elk Mound, Mondovi and Glenwood City, to contend with.

"Developing a winning mentality is exactly the hurdle we still have to jump over," Hoolihan said. "Getting some wins early on in the season will build a confidence in us which can last through the whole season." 

Spring Valley begins its season tonight at Boyceville. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.