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Carrington underclassmen to be tasked with 'developing daily'

Carrington is looking to get better day by day this basketball season.

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Haley Wolsky (11) attacks the basket during a Class B girls basketball game against Harvey/Wells County last winter. Wolsky is one of two seniors returning for the Carrington basketball team this season.
Contributed / Andy Braaten
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CARRINGTON, N.D. — Isabel Wendel is a stabilizing presence for the Carrington High School basketball team — and she's only a sophomore.

"Isabel is just steady," Carrington head coach Andy Braaten said. "She doesn't really come off the volleyball court for coach and she does all things in basketball well. She's one of those consistent kids and we just need her to improve so we can improve as a team."

Wendel's story is not a unique one for the Cardinals for this season.

"We'll have to develop leadership from some of the other seniors and the underclassmen," Braaten said. "We'll have to develop daily. We're a little bit more undersized than in previous years so we will have to be post-defenders by committee a little bit. Developing consistent scoring is always a challenge a little bit but we've got some kids who can hit the outside shot so we'll just have to develop a little bit more of a post-game as the season goes on."

Carrington began the season on Nov. 14 with practices and opened up the basketball season on Nov. 29 with a nonconference test against Velva at the Aggies' home venue.

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Carrington is coming off a bit of a disappointing end to the 2021 season, going 0-2 at the regional tournament. The program suffered some losses via graduation while current seniors Allison Jarrett and Mya Schroeder have opted to not suit up this season due to recovery from ACL tears.

That leaves Haley Wolsky and Emma Hone as the two most experienced players on the court. Braaten said like any year, his seniors will be responsible for developing the leadership amid a relatively inexperienced team.

One athlete the pair will be leading is Madison Johnson. The junior will be the one — at least early on in the year — responsible for providing ball-handling leadership like breaking pressure.

"She will have to be a big key for us," Braaten said of Johnson. "She likes basketball so I think she will step up."

Edyn Hoornaert is just a sophomore, but the 5-foot-8 baller is slated to see a lot of court time throughout the season.

"Edyn kind of has to play all positions because she handles it well," Braaten said. "She's got a little bit more size so she's got to play a little bit more of a post defense. She does a good job. She reads the ball really well. She had some freshman struggles but she really came on strong late last year.

"Most of our players come through our program as fifth and sixth graders," Braaten said. "Two of our sophomores started last year as freshmen and one junior who had starter minutes so we're looking for those three to improve throughout the year and give us some of that underclassmen leadership."

The younger players will have to use their knowledge of the game and their chemistry if they plan to get back to the region tournament.

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Braaten said Edgeley/Kulm-Montpelier along with Oakes would likely be the favorites to win District 5 but also said LaMoure/LM, Medina/PB and Linton/HMB could be contenders for a Region 3 crown. It was Linton/HMB that won the title last season, defeating LLM in the region championship. Braaten and the Cards took the regional title in 2021 while LaMoure/LM went to the state tourney in 2020.

"There has been good competitive balance in Region 3 girls basketball," Braaten said. "Everybody's kind of taking their turn punching their ticket (to State) and everyone gears up for the season pretty well. Hopefully, we'll get better day by day and we're playing our best ball at the end of the year. That's kind of what we shoot for. Our schedule will test us and we know that how we react to some of that adversity will build us as a team."

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Edyn Hoornaert leads a fastbreak for the Carrington basketball team last season. Hoornaert will be returning to the court this season.
Contributed / Andy Braaten

Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at kringer@jamestownsun.com or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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