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Veteran squad leading No. 2 Sanborn Central/Woonsocket girls' basketball team

Sanborn Central/Woonsocket guard Morgan Selland goes through a dribbling drill during practice Wednesday in Forestburg. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)

FORESTBURG — Dominant is a word that can be used to describe the Sanborn Central/Woonsocket girls’ basketball team’s performance in its first four games, but the only word that matters to the Blackhawks is champion.

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“I definitely think state is our goal,” SCW senior center Shelby Selland said. “We were disappointed with how things ended last year, but I think we have our sights set on something higher this season.”

The high expectations come from the success the team has had the last two seasons. Since the co-op between Sanborn Central and Woonsocket began in 2011, the Blackhawks (4-0) have reached the state tournament both years. Last year, SCW finished fifth after dropping the first game of the tournament and winning the final two.

The Blackhawks have come up from the lower ranks in the past, but this year, they have the target on their backs.

Through four games, the Blackhawks, who are ranked second in the Class B state polls, are averaging a 37.25 margin of victory.

“Being a top team motivates us,” SCW senior forward Rachel Selland said, adding the team is hungry to get further in the state tournament. “We are reminded that we have to keep getting better and better because the teams are going to get tougher.”

Because of the wide margins of victory this season, many of the Blackhawk starters have not played in the fourth quarter. Teams that are wishing to make the zero in the Blackhawks’ loss column go away may find it difficult to deal with SCW’s size.

Every player in the Blackhawks’ starting lineup is 5-foot-10 or taller. The lineup features freshman guard Myah Selland, junior guard Morgan Selland, Shelby Selland, Rachel Selland and senior forward Marissa Weber.

“I think our length does create matchup problems for other teams,” said Rob Baruth, who is the SCW co-head coach along with Tim McCain. “We have five or six girls who are tall and versatile. We have guards that are tall and can post up, which can be tough for teams to stop.”

Shelby Selland, who is an Augustana College commit, leads the way with 23.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Myah Selland is the team’s point guard and averages 14 points, 4.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game.

Morgan Selland is averaging 12.8 points per game, while Weber is averaging 11 points and seven rebounds per game. Rachel Selland rounds out the starting line up with 8.5 points and four rebounds per game.

“The kids have done a good job of working hard all season long,” Baruth said. “They know they have a target on their back, but they have put in a lot of time this summer. They have had a taste of being in the state tournament and they don’t want to be left out.”

Despite the lack of early challenges, the Blackhawks know things will pick up as the season goes.

SCW may get its first real challenge of the season when its hosts Mount Vernon/Plankinton at 6 p.m. Saturday in Woonsocket. The Class A Titans are 5-2 and riding a four-game win streak.

SCW also has matchups with Ethan (5-2), Mitchell Christian (6-1) Hanson (6-1) and Kimball/White Lake (7-1) left on its schedule.