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its struggles to handle the ….

its struggles to handle the ball against pressure and its field goal percentage, which languished at about 25% all year along. Wudi has no doubts the team will learn quickly where it stands in terms of handling the basketball. He’s sure most teams will spring full-court pressure on them to see if they can handle it.

The Redmen rebounded well and played some solid defense at times a year ago. The team’s defensive identity this year is another aspect of the game Wudi said would be “a work in progress.”

The coaches are hoping that the team quickly develops a play-hard, work-hard mentality no matter that the scoreboard says. If it does that, fans will notice the team noticeably getting better as the season progresses.

“The biggest thing is for the girls to improve,” Wudi said. “We’ve talked about that in the first week of practice. Patience is going to be the key buzzword. Brian and I have talked about that. Hopefully we’ll see a lot of improvement between November and February. We’re going to have some growing pains.”

In the Marawood North, there is some curiosity to see how three of the six teams respond to coaching changes. Ally Meserole moves up from her assistant position and replaces Logan Rosemeyer, who held the head job for just one season in Abbotsford. Former Athens star Kyncaide Diedrich takes over at her alma mater for Danielle Diedrich and Cal Kraegenbrink has replaced Randy Jones for the Prentice team that is the favorite to repeat as league champions.

Wudi views Phillips as a team on the rise behind their all-conference players sophomore Jada Eggebrecht and junior Rachel Callow.

Also something to watch, the WIAA moved Rib Lake to a different sectional this season. The Redmen have moved from Division 5’s northwest quadrant to the northeast quadrant, which features teams from the Central Wisconsin, Northern Lakes, Marawood and Marinette and Oconto conferences.