Former assistant coach Tucker Sheley now steps into the role of head coach, but the Tiger girls’ basketball team should look somewhat familiar to years past.

“We certainly will rely on a balanced attack and our depth,” Sheley said. “This is a tight knit group of girls with incredible parental and community support.”

Last season, the Tigers were eliminated by No. 2 Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 77-52 in the Section 5A quarterfinals. Ramsey Tulenchik had a team-high 13 points for PR-B while teammate Rylie Hirschey added 12 and Jamie Johnson 10.

Hirschey and Olivia Adkins were first-team picks for the Brainerd Dispatch All-Area team while Emma Barchus, Sidney Lodge and Ramsey Tulenchik received honorable mention for the Tigers, who finished 17-11 overall.

Hirschey, Adkins and Tulenchik are all back for the Tigers this year, as are Jaime Johnson, Emily Hanneken and Claire Dahl.

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Sheley also expects contributions to team success from Annabelle Knapp, Hannah Barchus, Cate Travis, Caden Borman, Alaura Dahl, Brianna Hanneken, Chloe Beavers and Maddy Knapp.

Restrictions pertaining to COVID-19 delaying the winter seasons by several weeks. Not only that, they have also had an effect on the number of fans in attendance and the number of competitions allowed this winter. One other major change is that the athletes will have to wear masks both in practice and during competitions.

Practicing with masks has been a new challenge this year,” Sheley said. “This isn’t the first time these girls have faced a little adversity, so they have been able to adapt as necessary.”

With the season now set to begin, Sheley said his athletes are not only excited and grateful for the chance to play, they are also ready to compete.

“The sound of basketballs bouncing in the gym again has been music to our ears,” Sheley said. “The coaching staff is so excited for the girls to have an opportunity to have a season. The seniors have put in an extraordinary amount of time over the past six years, and we are simply grateful that they have the privilege to finish their basketball careers on a high note.”

Lisa and Nolan Toft are assistant coaches for the Tigers.



Pine River-Backus girls’ basketball

January

15 - Lake of the Woods at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.

16 - Pine River-Backus at Sebekas, 2:30 p.m.

19 - Blackduck at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.

21 - Pine River-Backus at Laporte, 7:30 p.m.

26 - Pine River-Backus at Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, 7:30 p.m.

29 - Pine River-Backus at Northome-Kelliher, 7:30 p.m.

February

4 - Browerville at Pine River-Backus 7;30 p.m.

9 - Nevis at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.

12 - Red Lake at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.

16 - Walker-Hackensack-Akeley at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.

18 - Laporte at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.

25 - Pine River-Backus at Cass Lake-Bena, 7:30 p.m.

26 - Pine River-Backus at Belgrade-Brooten, 7:15 p.m.

March

2 - Cass Lake-Bena at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.

5 - Clearbrook-Gonvick at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.

6 - Pine River-Backus at Foley, 2 p.m.

9 - Pine River-Backus at Nevis, 7:30 p.m.

11 - Pequot Lakes at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.