The Milbank Area Lady Bulldogs basketball team takes the court for their 2016-2017 season opener Thursday, December 8. They host Tiospa Zina at the Milbank Armory.
Milbank alumnus Brian Pauli is the new head coach. “I would say I’m a motion offensive-minded coach,” Pauli said. “And play an aggressive man-to-man defense. But it really depends on the type of players and team we have from year to year. That dictates our offensive and defensive strategies.” He will be assisted this season by junior varsity coach Jolene Rick and C team coach Eric Townsend.
Pauli has coached boys basketball his entire career. He spent two years as the head boys coach in Summit and one year in Chester. The past nine years he was the head boys basketball coach in Homer, Nebraska. He holds a 105-95 coaching record as a head coach. “Its neat to come back and be a head coach in my hometown,” Pauli said. “And it’s nice to be close to family.”
Milbank Area has four seniors leading the team – Caryssa Mielitz, Mackayla Schuelke, Mikaela Hoeke, and Karlee Mertens. “It’s always important to have senior leadership,” Pauli said. “As role models, they are expected to do things the right way on and off the court and keep things steady day to day.”
Other returning players include: Molly Rick, Sophia Seffrood, Shea Hooth, LaChasity Finley, Gabbi Cummins, Taylor Thue, and Jaecy Engebretson. Also battling for positions are: Katie VanderWal, Ashley Wollschlager, Kylie Kasuske, and Makayla Johnson.
Younger players include: Elisabeth Schwenn, Chloe Bender, Jaden Hoeke, Katie Wollschlager, Tonya Meyer, Kellie Christians, Anna Mathews, Morgan Schafer, Taylor Hartman, Jatana Grajczyk, Tracy Pillatzki, and Cassidy Christians.
“I set pretty high goals,” Pauli said. “I’m excited to see what the girls can accomplish. One thing about this team – there are a lot of girls that could be competing for playing time.”
Class A girls basketball follows the new post-season tournament play with a Sweet 16 tournament. The final two teams from each region advance to a Sweet 16 game. The winners of each Sweet 16 contest advance to the State Class A girls basketball tournament slated for March 9-11 at Frost Arena in Brookings. “Getting to the Sweet 16, with a shot of going to State, is one of our fun and challenging goals,” Pauli stated.
The MHS girls basketball schedule for the 2016-2017 season includes:
|Dec 08||5:15 p.m.||Tiospa Zina||Milbank|
|Dec 13||4:00 p.m.||Sisseton||Sisseton|
|Dec 16||6:00 p.m.||Aberdeen Roncalli||Aberdeen|
|Dec 20||5:45 p.m.||Warner||Milbank|
|Dec 22||TBA||Webster Area||Webster|
|Dec 29||3:10 p.m.||De Smet||Milbank|
|Jan 03||4:00 p.m.||Deuel||Milbank|
|Jan 05||4:00 p.m.||Sisseton||Sisseton|
|Jan 07||3:30 p.m.||West Central||Hartford|
|Jan 10||6:00 p.m.||Clark/Willow Lake||Milbank|
|Jan 14||TBA||Sanford Pentagon Classic||Sioux Falls|
|Jan 17||6:00 p.m.||Castlewood||Castlewood|
|Jan 20||5:15 p.m.||Hamlin||Milbank|
|Jan 24||6:00 p.m.||Ortonville, MN||Ortonville, MN|
|Jan 27||6:00 p.m.||Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta, MN||Morris, MN|
|Jan 31||7:45 p.m.||Madison||Madison|
|Feb 03||5:15 p.m.||Redfield/Doland||Redfield|
|Feb 09||6:00 p.m.||Britton-Hecla||Britton|
|Feb 14||4:30 p.m.||Ortonville, MN||Milbank|
|Feb 16||6:30 p.m.||Groton Area||Milbank|