The Pratt High School girls basketball team has one lone returner, but a full slate of talented athletes are ready to pick up the slack.
After graduating five seniors and having only two returning varsity players, this season for the Pratt High School Girls Basketball team will have a different look this season. The team has grown slightly from recent years, from 19 to the current 23 players this season. Last year’s record was 14-7.
Senior Dani Staats is the lone returning starter, and she averaged 9 points per game last season.
“We’ll look for her to take on a larger scoring role for us,” said Head Coach Dustin Hildebrand.
Kyra Johnson is another returning senior who had a few games as a starter last season, but was out for much of the end of the season due to an injury.
“She is really making good strides for us as a rebounder and defensively,” Hildebrand said. “Looking to her to continue to improve.”
A couple of the team members are transfers from different schools who may see some varsity action, as well as a few girls from last year’s junior varsity.
“We will have to see who steps up and fill the roles left from last years’ team,” Hildebrand said.
The team welcomes six new freshmen, but one will be out due to a foot surgery.
“I think all of them have come in working hard and soaking in and learning a lot,” Hildebrand said of the freshmen. “There are a couple that have the capabilities to compete with our top group, but (it’s) still early in the season.”
Hildebrand hopes to get better every game.
“I think our focus has to be on making improvements every day and every game,” Hildebrand said. “We are such a young and inexperienced team that it’s going to be a big learning curve. It’s not going to be perfect, especially early on, but if we can make strides and get better throughout the year I hope we can be competitive at the end.”
Hildebrand is looking forward to the new challenge this season will bring for him as a coach.
“With such a different team from last year the challenge for me as a coach is to find what works the best with this group and I am excited for that,” Hildebrand said.
Coach Hildebrand has been pleased with his team’s attitude and effort so far.
“The goal is to sustain that all season long even during the rough times,” Hildebrand said.