McKenzie Nodolf, front left, tries to take the ball away from Kerstin Sauerbrei. Waiting their turn are, from left, Grace Kouba, Avery Downs, Tamera Holland, Haley Krumenauer, Karoline Hopfensperger and Grace Burdick.
McKenzie Nodolf, front left, tries to take the ball away from Kerstin Sauerbrei. Waiting their turn are, from left, Grace Kouba, Avery Downs, Tamera Holland, Haley Krumenauer, Karoline Hopfensperger and Grace Burdick.

   The Ripon Tiger girls’ basketball team has done its fair share of losing the last couple of seasons.

   It went 3-20 last year and 5-18 and 8-16 in the two years before.

   Yet a hope to turn its fate around has been evident during the first week of practice.

   “The girls’ desire to take the next step with regards to how hard they play and the girls are also hungry to win; they want to win,” Ripon head coach Tom McNeill said about what has stood out. “Some of the girls, especially the seniors, they want to go out on a high note as I would imagine every senior class would like to go out on. I think that ultimately has led to their intensity this week. They’ve really pushed one another to go ahead offensively and defensively.”

   Another area that has impressed the coach is the team’s athleticism.

   “They’re pretty athletic and we’ve been talking about that a lot,” Tom McNeill said. “You got a number of players that can play multiple positions on the court and from a coach’s perspective, it really goes ahead and gives you a lot of options that you can consider.”

   He noted the athleticism could help the Tigers run a more up-tempo offense this season, which they have tried to do in the past.

Read the full story, which includes information about the returning players, in the Nov. 17 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.