Youthful St. Thomas More girls basketball team looking for return to state

RAPID CITY, S.D. – The St. Thomas More girls basketball program has been a powerhouse in Class ‘A’ since 2011, winning six state titles.

This year, the Lady Cavaliers hope to once again be one of the top teams in the state.

St. Thomas More is coming off a 22-3 season and a fourth place finish at the State ‘A’ tournament.

However, the Cavaliers have some holes to fill after losing three players to graduation including Haleigh Timmer who averaged 20 points and seven rebounds per game last year.

But STM returns three starters; Reese Ross, Mairin Duffy and Gabby Robbins.

Coach Brandon Kandolin is looking for Ross to be a major contributor this season.

“It’s always tough to fill some shoes and certainly Haleigh Timmer’s shoes were pretty big to follow,” said head coach Brandon Kandolin. “So we’re trying to figure out how we can space out some of the things that she did. Not only, on the offensive end but the defensive end. So Reese at 6’1″, she can do a lot of things. We expect big things from her. Her length is great for defense and rebounding. But she’s also worked on her game offensively and she’s able to produce inside and outside.”

“Now I kind of have an opportunity to step out of my shell and provide for my team in areas that we lack,” said Reese Ross. “But defensively I think this season is something we’re going to work on because we necessarily don’t have that huge 20 points a game guaranteed sort of situation.”

St. Thomas More is a young team with only two seniors and four juniors on the roster.

But the Lady Cavaliers do have several players with prior experience.

“Emma Blomme came over from Central,” said Kandolin. “So we look for her to contribute in a variety of ways and it’s going to start on the defensive end. As well as, we look forward to MaKenna Jacobson and Jada Mollman who saw a lot of time last year to fill some spots and also contribute in a variety of ways.”

St. Thomas More opens the girls basketball season on Thursday, Dec. 9 at a three – day tournament in Gillette, Wyoming.

The Cavaliers’ home opener is Dec. 18 against Scottsbluff.

Categories: High School, Sports