Balanced attack helps Hanson girls start season 5-0
ALEXANDRIA -- The Hanson girls' basketball team is determined.
Last year, the Beavers finished sixth in the Class B state basketball tournament, but this year the team has its sights set on more.
"The girls are on a mission to prove themselves and make their own identity," Hanson head coach Jim Bridge said. "It would be easy to live on the history of our program, but they are determined to make their own history."
The Beavers have started the season 5-0 and have been voted as the fourth best team in Class B girls' basketball by the state's sportswriters association.
To this point, Hanson has used a balance attack on the offensive end led by a trio of players who are currently averaging double figures. Cassidy Graham is averaging 13 points per game, while Kendra and Kynedi Cheeseman each average 10. Four players average more than five points.
"We have had really good balance and I don't think there has been anybody you can really key on ... We don't have anybody who is averaging huge stats," said Bridge, whose team returned 12 letter winners from last year's team. "We really have more players than we have playing time for. ... We could go 12 deep if we needed or had to."
With so many players logging so many minutes, Bridge said he applauds his team's unselfish manner.
"They just don't care who gets the credit and they want to do well as a team," Bridge said. "You have to give them a huge pat on the back for sacrificing."
Hanson lost only one senior from last year's team. It's plugged that hole with a committee of players, including Kynedi Cheeseman.
"Kynedi has fit in real nice. We only had one senior last year, so in some ways she has filled that void but it has still been a team effort." Bridge said.
The Beavers' depth and diversity has come in handy thus far. Hanson defeated District 11 rival Ethan, which finished 16-6 last season, and Parkston, which was the Class A state runner-up.
The schedule does not get any easier for Hanson as the Beavers face third-ranked Centerville in the Parkston Classic Dec. 28, and second-ranked Sanborn Central/Woonsocket a month from now.
"We are pretty happy with the progress we have made so far," Bridge said. "We play a strong schedule, which will make us better, and the girls like that."