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SMC Basketball

Belles begin season with loss to Vikings

| Thursday, November 19, 2015

Saint Mary’s was defeated in a road game against North Park, 64-49, this Tuesday night at North Park Gymnasium to start the season.

The Belles kept it close at the beginning, finishing the first quarter down by only four points. However, in the second and third quarters North Park was able to widen the gap.

Belles senior guard Sarah Macius made 6-of-12 field goals, including two 3-pointers, and had a team-high 14 points. Senior captain and forward Krista Knapke hauled in eight rebounds while senior co-captain and guard Maddie Kohler had four steals on the game.

Kohler said although the team lost, she was already beginning to see progress in the team.

“We did some really great things and have improved since day one back in October,” she said.

Kohler said the Belles will only get better as the team continues to develop.

“We have good chemistry on and off the court, but there is still a lot of room for growth,” Kohler said. “It was only the first game of the season, and we need to work out the kinks and jitters of a new season with some new players.”

The team will be attending the Wheaton Tournament in Wheaton, Illinois, this weekend. When asked about the team’s hopes for this upcoming weekend, sophomore forward Gabby Diamond said the Belles want to show they are serious contenders in this tournament.

“Looking forward to this weekend, we hope to make our presence known even though we might not have as deep of a bench as some of the teams we face,” Diamond said. “We are small but mighty, and we hope to show that in our strength under the boards and our quickness on defense.”

Diamond also emphasized the necessity for the Belles to continue working hard against strong opponents.

“We understand that we are facing some tough competition this weekend and we need to walk in ready to out hustle the teams that we will be up against,” she said.

After going 1-15 last season in conference play, Diamond said she has renewed belief in her team for this upcoming season.

“A majority of our team is made up of returners, and the leadership demonstrated by our four seniors up to this point has instilled a confidence in all of us that I think will take us far,” Diamond said. “I am fully confident that we have the skills and work ethic to go far in our conference.

“ … In order for us to have a successful season we need to continue to have faith in our teammates, work hard in practice and trust in our coaches to provide us with the strategies we need to achieve success once the game clock starts at tip-off.”

“Our outlook for the upcoming season is to improve from last season and exceed everyone’s expectations,” Kohler said in agreement. “We will fulfill this goal through hard work, dedication and being a great teammate, which I have already seen from our players this early in the season.”

The Belles will travel to the Wheaton Tournament this weekend, and Friday tip-off is at 3 p.m. The Belles will return home for their first home game of the season Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. against Anderson at Angela Athletic Facility.

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