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Patriot girls should contend

The Pequot Lakes girls’ basketball team aims to contend in the Mid-State Conference and in the Section 8AA playoffs with eight letterwinners from a squad that finished 19-10 overall last season.

“The girls worked hard in the offseason, and should contend for conference and section titles,” said Pequot Lakes coach Jon Dale. “The seniors have experienced two state tournament, and are hungry to get back to state.”

Those seniors are captains Kayla Miller, Vanessa Lane and Katie White. Miller and Lane were co-most valuable players last season while White, a guard, earned the coaches award after leading the Patriots in assists (92), free-throw percent (71.1) and 3-point shooting (40.6 percent).

Miller led the Patriots with a scoring average of 18.2 points last season. The guard also became the 15th player in program history to surpass the 1,000-point milestone. Lane, a forward, was second in scoring at 17.4 points while leading the team in steals (78) and rebounds (248).

Other letterwinners are junior center Emilee Buell and junior guards Caitie Ryan and Kelsey Hart and sophomore guard Haley Wiebolt and sophomore forward Morgan Lohmiller. Buell received the Enforcer Award last season for her ability to “mix it up under the basket while battling for rebounds” and grab 46 rebounds while Wiebolt was chosen most improved after finishing second with 83 assists and 38 steals.

One other letterwinner, sophomore Brittny Bzdok, is likely out for the season after having surgery following an offseason injury. Last year, Bzdok averaged 6.4 points for the Patriots.

Others who could contribute are sophomores Laura Squires, Barb Miller, Jessica Faacks and Caitlyn Carkhuff and freshman Corina Ruud and Sam Littman. Two other sophomores are Meghan and Alex Nelson.

The Patriots played in their third straight subsection final last year when Pequot Lakes lost to Crookston 76-67 for the Northeast Subsection championship. The Patriots, who finished second in the Mid-State Conference, also played eight ranked teams during the regular season.

Kate Dale is an assistant coach for Pequot Lakes. Her junior varsity team finished 17-6 overall last season.

The Subsection 8AA first round is scheduled for March 6.