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West Fargo's Christine Baltezore (21) shoulders her way past Grand Forks Red River's Chelsea Carlson during a game at last year's East Region tournament in Grand Forks. John Stennes/Grand Forks Herald
West Fargo's Christine Baltezore (21) shoulders her way past Grand Forks Red River's Chelsea Carlson during a game at last year's East Region tournament in Grand Forks. John Stennes/Grand Forks Herald

Season Preview: Girls Basketball

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sports Fargo, 58102
Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

Even though her team didn't make it to the state tournament, West Fargo coach Barb Metcalf considered last season a success.

Regardless of their finish, the Packers beat some solid teams, and finished the season 9-13 overall and 6-8 against Eastern Dakota Conference opponents.

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But what's past is past. This is a new year, with a changed team playing changed opponents. In the end, anything could happen.

For starters, the Packers will have to adjust to a changed lineup. They are missing two players from last season: graduated seniors Courtney Voeller and Jenna Green. Voeller didn't lead her team in any stats, but she was a staple forward, nonetheless, and started all 19 games of the season.

Green made a slightly larger impact. The forward was third for West Fargo in points with 146, and a 7.68 average. She also cracked the Top 10 EDC charts for free throw percentage with 70.

There is one more loss the Packers will feel, but that didn't come from graduation. Senior Carissa Becher likely will be out for the season because of a knee injury. Last year, the 6-foot All-Conference forward made the EDC Top 10 in scoring (258 points, 14.3 average), rebounds (129 total, 7.2 average), and field goal percentage (50.3). Her absence could be sorely missed.

Still, the Packers are not without some capable tools. In fact, they return their No. 1 scorer from last season.

Without a doubt, Katelyn Holland commanded the court. The 5-10 senior guard averaged more than 17 points per game and racked up 329 for the season, which was third best in the conference. An All-EDC pick, Holland cracked the Top 10 in assists (67 total, 3.5 average), free throw percentage (73.8), 3-point percentage (30.5), 3-pointers made (39 total, 2.1 average), and steals (52 total, 2.7 average).

Mary DeJong and Danielle Nelson are West Fargo's other two seniors. DeJong may not have gotten much playing time, but still was 3-for-5 from the field and hit 50 percent from 3-point range. Nelson got a bit more court time, racking up 54 points, 79 rebounds and 15 steals.

The Packers also will have some underclassmen. Cassidy Thorson made the squad as a freshman, and Christine Baltezore and Lexi Lennon will be playing as sophomores, though Baltezore already has one year of varsity experience under her belt. The rest of the team is made up of juniors.

West Fargo will get to see how all its pieces fit during its home opener at 6 p.m. Friday hosting Fargo Davies.

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