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Rachael Carlisle drives past Macy Hartman during a Wadena-Deer Creek practice session Monday night under new head coach Brian Silbernick.

Silbernick takes helm of girls basketball team

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Coming off their first winning season in many years the Wadena-Deer Creek girls' basketball team has some big adjustments to make as they wade into their 2009-10 schedule.

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Activities Director Brian Silbernick will return to the coaching ranks for the first time since he led Big Lake.

"I think we have a good nucleus of experience back," Silbernick said.

Graduation was rough on the Wolverines as five players left the fold. The Wolverines lost a 1,000-point scorer in Brigetta Berg. They must also replace tall Jordan Moenkedick and playmaking guards Steph Perkins and Kendra Grothmann.

The cupboard is far from bare although the Wolverines will be dominated by underclassmen. Seniors on the team will be guards Hannah Toedter and Kayla Krause, and Emily Hammes, who competed with the dance team last year. Hammes has excellent height and will be rotating inside with Craig. Toedter and Krause have good ball-handling abilities and can expect more varsity playing time.

The top junior on the team is veteran Courtney Volkmann, a third-year starter who will handle the point this season and do most of the team's scoring.

Other juniors include forward Kelsi Crawford, guards Keeley Timm and Rachael Carlisle, and center Rachel Craig. Crawford has "speed and quickness" according to Silbernick and will give the Wolverines a strong, athletic player inside.

Timm will help Silbernick keep his guards fresh by rotating into the game. Carlisle is both smart and strong making her an asset under the hoop. Craig has impressive height and stands to fill the shoes of Jordan Moenkedick, who was both a good scorer and rebounder for WDC last year.

"Rachel has gotten stronger over the summer and I expect her to do well inside," Silbernick said.

Sophomore Avery Jackson has worked hard in the off-season with a summer AAU team and her contributions at guard could be considerable. Silbernick believes the only aspect of Jackson's game that still needs work is consistency.

The size that the Wolverines have this season is one of the reasons Silbernick believes his club will compete with Mid-State heavyweights Pequot Lakes, Detroit Lakes and Staples-Motley. He also holds out hope that some of his younger players will be able to contribute on the varsity level before the season is over.

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