Injuries hurting MidkotaAs if the Midkota High School girls basketball team wasn’t shorthanded already. Last season, the Mustangs primarily played six girls in a run to the Region 4 championship game. They filled out their varsity lineup of 10 with four seventh-graders.
By: By Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
As if the Midkota High School girls basketball team wasn’t shorthanded already.
Last season, the Mustangs primarily played six girls in a run to the Region 4 championship game. They filled out their varsity lineup of 10 with four seventh-graders.
But in an ultimate test of their resilience, the Mustangs have been dealt a difficult hand.
Dynamic scorer Shaye Ronningen injured her ankle in the opening round of the region volleyball tournament and won’t be around for the season opener Friday in Linton, meaning coach Kyle Frappier will have to work his magic to replace her 20 points per game.
“She’s not practicing,” Frappier said. “We expect to have her back after Christmas. … She’s not gonna be full strength.”
To make matter worse, Frappier’s daughter, Kallie, tore her ACL in the District 7 volleyball championship match. Unlike Ronningen, Kallie, a senior, is done for her prep career, as is her eight points and eight rebounds per game.
“Devastated is a good word for it,” Frappier said of his daughter and her injury. “There have been a lot of tough nights. The first day of practice was really tough for her.”
Replacing her long arms in the middle on defense could be the biggest hit to the team.
“She did everything right,” Kyle said. “She would stand in the middle of the lane and block shots. That part’s gonna be hard to replace. We don’t have another girl like that.”
Midkota returns to action with its home opener against Griggs County Central on Jan. 5.
At that point, Frappier hopes to have his standout back. He said he believes Ronningen has the potential to be an all-state selection.
“Shaye’s just such a pure scorer,” he said. “She can score from anywhere on the floor.”
For now, Midkota will lean on the experience it will be able to put on the floor, which is still significant.
Junior cousins Callie and Saddie Harding, and senior Emily Berge and sophomore Brooke Ronningen have plenty of varsity experience. Berge averaged a double-double last year with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Frappier said having his four junior-high kids back as eighth-graders should help.
“We’re used to playing with not a lot of depth,” Frappier said. “We might just have a little more with four eighth-graders able to play.”
South Border standout Michael Jacobson was injured during the football season, forcing him to miss the latter half of that season.
Jacobson, a 6-foot-4 senior, averaged 20 points and eight rebounds a game last year.
First-year coach Robbie Lukens declined to speak about the injury and said there is no time table for his return.
He did, however, say he expects to get Jacobson back at some point this season.
The Mustangs were ranked eighth in the Class B state media poll to start the season, but have since dropped out after an 0-2 start at the hands of Ellendale and Edgeley-Kulm.