Parkston girlslooking to return to state title game in new seasonPARKSTON — It’s a new day for the Parkston girls’ basketball team. Heading into the 2012-2013 basketball season, the Trojans are looking to turn the page on last year’s magical yet heartbreaking season, which saw the team fall in the state championship game to St. Thomas More 71-50.
By: Aaron Saunders, The Daily Republic
PARKSTON — It’s a new day for the Parkston girls’ basketball team.
Heading into the 2012-2013 basketball season, the Trojans are looking to turn the page on last year’s magical yet heartbreaking season, which saw the team fall in the state championship game to St. Thomas More 71-50.
The team finished with a 22-4 record last year and returns all but one starter from last year’s squad.
“We are excited about the team we have coming back, and it should be a good year,” Parkston head coach Rob Van Laecken said.
The lone starter the Trojans lost was three-time all-state performer and current University of Sioux Falls player Marie Malloy, who averaged 22.6 ppg and 9 rpg for Parkston.
“I don’t know if you can replace a Marie Malloy,” Van Laecken said. “I think we will have to do some things differently than when we had her on the team. Hopefully, we have some kids that just step up, but she is just one of those kids that you can’t replace.”
Since the Trojans cannot replace a player of Malloy’s caliber, they will look to several of their players, who gained valuable experience from last year, to pick up the slack.
“We have a good nucleus of kids back to build on,” said Van Laecken, who enters his 36th season as the head coach of the Trojans. “We have seven players back, who each had starts at some point last year. We have a good bunch of sophomores who are vying for playing time.”
En route to the state title game last year, Parkston went on a 15-game win streak. In the series of wins, the Trojans were able to eke out several close victories including a 3-point triumph over then No. 1 seed and District 10A foe Wagner.
The Trojans will need more of that magic this year, combined with great defense and timely shooting, if they want to be crowned the Class A state champions this March.
“In this game, there are no guarantees, and it is our goal to get back to the state championship,” Van Laecken said. “To do that, we are going to have to work very hard, become better shooters and play better defense.”
Parkston will be without its top shooter Logan Wagner until December, due to a minor injury. With Wagner out, the Trojans will rely on DWU signee Erica Herrold, McKenzie Weidenbach and Jordan Bormann to carry the load.
Parkston will kick off its season Dec 4 at Freeman.