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Loboes expected to be competitive in practices and games

By grade level, LaMoure/LM is one of the least experienced varsity teams in the Region this season. By experience, the Loboes will be a tough matchup this season.

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The LaMoure-Litchville-Marion Loboes should be getting some help from these players this year. Pictured from left: Georgia Lettenmaier, Savanna Steffes, Ivy Jacobson, Josie Lange and Izzy Miller.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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LAMOURE, N.D. — Games aren't the only thing that is going to be competitive for the LaMoure/Litchville-Marion girls' basketball team this season.

"We'll be pretty young," newly hired head coach Ben Holen said. "We'll truly have 10 to 12 girls fighting for playing time which will allow us to have some pretty competitive practices which will be good."

The Loboes began practices on Nov. 14 and are scheduled to open up the season hosting LLM's typical season-opener opponent, Lisbon, on Dec. 2.

"I'm excited," Holen said. "I've spent a couple of years on the sideline as an assistant and then I had a lot of these girls in junior high and elementary school basketball, so we have a pretty good history of time spent together."

Freshman Norah DelaBarre has seen her fair share of varsity minutes during the past two seasons.

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"She rebounds extremely well," Holen said. "She has really good instincts in terms of tracking the ball down after it's shot. She defends well, plays with a very high motor and brings a lot of energy and is usually in attack mode."

Tessa Rasmusson, the Loboes' one junior, will probably be the team's go-to shooter as she saw a fair amount of playing time in the last two seasons.

"This year we're looking for her to take the next step offensively and attack the basket and get other teammates involved a little bit more," Holen said. "Defensively, she has a really high upside — she prefers the offensive end a little bit more, but by the end of the year I expect that she will be an extremely well-rounded player."

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Tessa Rasmusson will be a key player for the LaMoure-Litchville-Marion Loboes.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Sophomores Bailie Kelley and Georgia Lettenmaier were in the mix last year. Kelley was utilized both on the wing and as a post while Lettenmaier is almost exclusively positioned in the post.

After that ... it becomes wide open.

"We'll have pretty good length and pretty good size," Holen said. "We have eight or nine girls who are all very comparable and they will have to fight it out for playing time.

"It's a smart group," he said. "We're a relatively immature group as far as grade level, but it's a group who's played together for a few years now so they have a pretty high IQ. They play the game the right way. They like to compete and are pretty unselfish."

Holen said looking at Region 3, his first year at the helm of the program will be a challenging one. Oakes has almost its entire roster back. District 5 regular season champs, Edgeley/Kulm-Montpelier, is returning most of the team's core having only graduated two kids. Kidder County has got some depth coming back while Medina/Pingree-Buchanan also has some talent back from last year's team.

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"We will truly be flying under the radar a little bit just because there are four or five teams in our region that are very senior and junior heavy," Holen said. "Unfortunately, we are not one of those teams, but by season's end we hope to be right in the mix and be one of the teams other teams don't want to see."

With nearly three weeks between the start of practices and the first game, Holen said the team will likely be focusing on fundamentals and working to get good reps on offense and defense. Because the Loboes have so many players that are comparable, Holen is hoping for some competitive practices where each player challenges another.

"It might take us a while, we will have to adjust to the speed of things and the next level but I think they are excited," Holen said of his team. "I think this group will enjoy being able to get some varsity minutes. They have all been patiently waiting. I know they are excited to get their chance. It will be fun, I am excited."

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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