5 KEY FACTS: Stevens girls basketball team looks to rebuild after graduating three starters
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Rapid City Stevens girls basketball has been one of the area’s most consistent teams in recent years with nine straight appearances in the State ‘AA’ tournament.
The Raiders are hoping to make it ten in a row, but they will have some key holes to fill in the line-up this year.
1. The Stevens girls basketball team is coming off a strong season.
Rapid City Stevens finished 19-5 last year and lost to O’Gorman in the State ‘AA’ championship game.
2. The Raiders lost three starters to graduation.
The Stevens Raiders lost a total of six players to graduation including three starters.
The Raiders will have to replace Jayda McNabb, Bailee Sobczak and Jaden Matkins who combined for 26 points and 17 rebounds per game last season.
3. Stevens returns two starters from last season.
The Raiders have two returning starters to help lead this year’s team, Taaliyah Porter and Macey Wathen.
Porter averaged 9.9 points per game last season, while Wathen averaged 6.8 points per contest.
Besides Wathen, the Raiders have three other seniors in Hailey Oswald, Claire Fierro and Gabbie Love.
Head coach Adam Dannenbring expects sophomore Taaliyah Porter to play a major role this season.
“I think she just had a fantastic off-season where she put in just a ton of work and I think she’s going to be one of the best players in ‘AA’ basketball,” said Adam Dannenbring. “Not just the best sophomore. We’re talking she’ll be one of the best players in South Dakota. So it’s a fantastic thing for me as a coach to get to coach a young lady who’s willing to work that hard.”
4. Stevens looks to be competitive despite the lack of size.
The Stevens basketball team is lacking in size this season with only one player listed on the roster at taller than 5’9″.
But Dannenbring says his team makes up for its lack of size with its speed and strong perimeter shooting.
“We’re much shorter than last year’s team,” said Dannenbring. “We’re very fast. I think that we transition very well. I also think that we shoot it very well. I don’t know what the record amount of three pointers shot in a season is for Stevens girls basketball. But I would guess that would probably fall this year.”
5. The Raiders open the season on Monday, Dec. 5.
Stevens opens the season on Monday, Dec. 5 at home against the Douglas Patriots.
Then the Raiders will host Pierre and Aberdeen Central on Dec. 9-10.