Where do you go from a perfect conference slate and a 16-win season?
A repeat in conference play. Perhaps more total wins.
Or, like everyone else, you’re just happy to be here.
“I think right now we’re happy we’re able to have this opportunity, for one,” head coach Bryan Heimlich said. “We have a lot of returning players and we were young last year. The girls have come in a lot more prepared than they were at the beginning of last year.”
Heimlich’s squad returns 10, including top three scorers Olivia Allen, Lynzi Heimlich and Abigale Spry. Each averaged slightly more than eight points per game, while three others — Hannah Cosgray, Tessa Robertson and Kinsey Westerhouse — chipped in between three and five per game.
In addition, junior Caitlyn Conn is back after missing 19 games because of leukemia.
“We have a lot of people that can handle the basketball and shoot, but we have some post players that can do some things, too,” Heimlich said. “Being able to get Caitlyn Conn back this year will help down in the post, and we have Lyni and Kinsey, and Tessa Robertson as well.”
Conn and Lynzi Heimlich each averaged two offensive rebounds per game, an area the Vikings excelled in — they averaged nearly 10 a game. Coach Heimlich, however, felt his team wasn’t able to capitalize enough on second- and third-chance scoring opportunities when it needed to.
Shooting in general was a bit of a hindrance — North White shot 36 percent from the field, with 29 percent from the 3-point line. The Vikings shot 29 percent in a three-point sectional loss to Caston and was at 30 percent or lower in four games. The loss to Caston was also a sharp contrast to the teams’ first meeting - a 50-29 Vikings win.
“Defense is what we always stress, because shots aren’t always going to fall,” Heimlich said of a team that allowed 38.5 points per game while scoring 43.5. “We found that out in the final game of the sectional - we did not shoot well, and we weren’t able to get some of the stops we needed to.”