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Lady Raiders look to fill in voids

Lake Park-Audubon Girls basketball team: Row 1: Breann Hogie, Emily Sunram, Maegan Anderson, Carissa Raaen, Bailee Bartunek, Becca Schermer. Row 2: Jennifer Hamre, Jessie Swegarden, Lindsey Olson, Megan Hilfer.

A balanced attack will replace Lake Park-Audubon's 2,000-point and all-time leading scorer Andi Knudsvig for the 2012-13 season.

Although the void of Knudsvig's loss is big, LP-A head coach Anthony Bryant believes a well-spread out scoring attack will be key to fill it.

"We have a lot of capable and experienced girls who I feel are ready to step up and take Andi's place," Bryant said. "Knudsvig was a special player, but this year's team will have more of a balanced attack, which I feel will still make us difficult to defend."

One player who was playing in Knudsvig's shadow, but will shine this year, is junior forward Bailee Bartunek. The athletic forward averaged 12 rebounds per game in 2011-12, while she will be counted on for more points this season, as well.

"Bailee is one of the best kept secrets in the state of Minnesota," Bryant said. "But the word will get out this year on her. If Bailee sets her mind to it, she could be an All-State player before she graduates."

Senior post Emily Sunram also looks to play a pivotal role in the paint, as well, making the Raiders a formidable front court duo.

"Emily is a quick and athletic post, who plays great defense and is a natural leader," the LP-A coach said.

After rehabbing an injured knee, senior Carissa Raaen returns and brings back a strong rebounding presence, along with a soft touch on the offensive side of the court.

Becca Schermer is a returning junior, who was voted last year's Most Improved Player, with her role increasing due to her "phenomenal" athleticism and work ethic.

In the backcourt, Lindsey Olson will play point guard, with returning starter Maegan Anderson back at the two-guard position.

"Lindsey has quickness and good ball handling ability and Maegan has the ability to play any spot on the floor," Bryant said.

Breann Hogie, a junior, will be a defensive specialist with the skill to play opposing post players down low, or play the perimeter against a guard.

Jenny Hamre, Jess Swegarden and Megan Hilfer round out LP-A's backcourt depth.

"We will be very versatile this year, as they are one of the most athletic teams I've ever been around," Bryant said. "We feel our strength will be in a fast-paced game, as long as we can control the ball and keep our turnovers down."

Changing the team's identity will also be a key to the 2012-13 season.

"For the last three to four seasons, the primary scoring option for the Lady Raiders has been Andi Knudsvig," Bryant said. "If this team can develop an offensive identity, it will require the team to step up and take charge when we have the ball.

"Defensively, I feel we will be stronger, and if the scoring comes around, we could be a tough team to beat."

Girls Basketball Schedule

Date Time Opponent Site

11/24 12:00PM Hawley Hawley HS

11/27 7:30PM Barnesville Barnesville HS

11/30 7:30PM Frazee LP-Audubon HS

12/4 7:30PM D-G-F D-G-F HS

12/8 7:30PM Park Christian Park Christian HS

12/11 6:00PM Ulen-Hitterdal Ulen-Hitterdal HS

12/14 7:30PM Norman County East LP-Audubon HS

12/18 6:00PM Ada-Borup Ada-Borup HS

12/21 7:30PM Norman County West Norman County W

1/3 6:00PM Fosston Lake Park Gym

1/4 7:30PM Northern Cass Northern Cass HS

1/8 7:30PM WAUBUN LP-Audubon HS

1/11 7:30PM Fertile-Beltrami LP-Audubon HS

1/12 4:00PM Rothsay LP-Audubon HS

1/15 6:00PM Climax/Fisher Climax HS

1/17 6:00PM Ulen-Hitterdal LP-Audubon HS

1/21 7:30PM Norman County East Norman County E

1/24 7:30PM Ada-Borup LP-Audubon HS

1/29 6:00PM Norman County West LP-Audubon HS

2/1 6:00PM WAUBUN Waubun HS

2/5 7:30PM Hawley Hawley HS

2/7 7:30PM Bagley LP-Audubon HS

2/8 7:30PM Win-E-Mac Win-E-Mac HS

2/12 6:00PM Mahnomen LP-Audubon HS

2/14 7:30PM Fosston Fosston HS

2/15 7:30PM Park Christian Lake Park Gym

2/23 7:30PM Ulen-Hitterdal, TBA Ulen-Hitterdal HS

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.