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Preps Plus: Wahpeton girls basketball continues to roll

Wahpeton girls basketball continues to rollWahpeton's girls basketball team has won nine straight games, including wins at West Fargo and over Fargo Shanley. The Huskies moved to 13-3 on the season and are ranked No. 5 in Class A.There's more to ...

Tylee Irwin, who has committed to play at South Dakota State, has helped lead Wahpeton's girls basketball team to a 13-3 record this season. Photo by Turner Blaufuss / Wahpeton Daily News
Tylee Irwin, who has committed to play at South Dakota State, has helped lead Wahpeton's girls basketball team to a 13-3 record this season. Photo by Turner Blaufuss / Wahpeton Daily News
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Wahpeton girls basketball continues to roll

Wahpeton's girls basketball team has won nine straight games, including wins at West Fargo and over Fargo Shanley. The Huskies moved to 13-3 on the season and are ranked No. 5 in Class A.

There's more to Wahpeton than South Dakota State commit Tylee Irwin.

"I think she has a lot to do with it, but I think our players are starting to come together as a unit," Wahpeton coach Brian Watson said. "They're playing off her. Several teams have gone box-and-1 to take Tylee away, and we've had players step up and hit big shots. We're just playing good team basketball."

One of those players is freshman Jordyn Kahler. Watson expected big things from Kahler early in the season and it didn't seem to be working out. Then, starting senior Emily Schuster sprained her ankle and Kahler was put in the starting lineup. It was sink or swim time for her.

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"She had a shaky start with inexperience with varsity basketball," Watson said. "She's settled down. That was the beginning of this run."

Watson learned he had another option with Kahler. Now that Schuster is back, he alters the starting lineup based on size of opponents.

"I think she's starting to play the way I thought she would," Watson said of Kahler. "When your hand is forced, you see what you have. I'm hoping she can continue to do it for the rest of the season, and it's a good start to her career."

It also helps that Wahpeton has four senior captains on the team, all of which start, in Irwin, Schuster, Amber Lingen and Jaden Pikarski. Junior Rhaeghn Gripentrog hit six 3-pointers in her first game, but struggled later in the season. The four seniors were there to pick her up.

"Those four have done a really good job leading our young players through this run," Watson said. "Those guys have played in a state tournament and know what it's like to go through an (Eastern Dakota Conference) season. They perform in practice, and they pick them up when things aren't going well."

Forum area basketball rankings

(The Forum ranks area basketball teams based on what team has the best chance to win a state title in its respective class)

Boys

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1. Fargo Davies

2. West Fargo

3. Northern Cass

4. Hillsboro-Central Valley

5. West Fargo Sheyenne

Girls

1. Carrington

2. Kindred

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3. Fargo Davies

4. Fargo Shanley

5. Wahpeton

Hankinson's Steinwehr hits milestone

Hankinson senior Mya Steinwher scored the 1,000th point of her career on Monday. She's averaging 15 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals a game this season. She's also dishing out four assists a game for the Pirates.

"Mya plays with a calm demeanor and has a knack for playing her best in big games," Hankinson coach Tony Herder said. "She has made several big shots and made several free throws at the end of close games in her career. Her ability to control the tempo of a game is a rare skill at the high school level."

Related Topics: GIRLS BASKETBALLBOYS BASKETBALLWEST FARGO
Murphy has covered sports in Chicago, Minnesota and North Dakota since 2009, working for The Forum since 2012. Contact: cmurphy@forumcomm.com or 701-241-5548
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