November 20, 2017 07:47 PM
Lourdes Ready to Defend Section Title
(ABC 6 News) – Following a Class AA girls basketball championship win in 2016, with a target on their backs, the P-E-M Bulldogs looked prime to return to state in 2017—but the Lourdes Eagles had different plans, and now, the Eagles have the target on their backs.
The Eagles hosted a media day on Monday at the high school. In 2017, Lourdes won their first Section One championship since 2010—and this season, the Eagles look prime to defend the title.
“It’s nice you’re not starting from scratch,” Lourdes head girls basketball coach Aaron Berg said. “We can hit the ground running, that’s been nice.”
Lourdes returns a solid corps of talent—top-notch outside shooter and senior Wynter Bergner, as well as star sophomore Alyssa Ustby returns in 2017.
In 2016-2017, Ustby and Bergner were two of the Eagles’ top scorers, which means expectations are high, and they’re the team to beat in the Section 1AA playoffs.
"Any time that you finish at the top that next year, teams want to make you the target and we fully expect that,” Berg said. “Anybody that would be in that position would expect that."
“It’s definitely nerve-wracking knowing that we're the ones people are probably going to be looking out for,” Bergner added. “I think as a whole, we're going to be able to handle it pretty well. We know we're not going to be that number one team, we're not thinking we're heads above everyone else, we're just here to play the game."
For Bergner, a player who tied the record for three-pointers in a single game last season, she said she’s hoping to become more of a well-rounded offensive threat in 2017.
"Over the summer, I worked more on my inside game,” Bergner said. “Last season, I worked on and focused more on my outside game. My inside game is better, I just need to start shooting more."
"Wynter has been my idol since 7th and 8th grade,” Ustby added. “I remember coming to the varsity games, sitting in the student section, and watching her all the time, I wanted to play with her so bad. She's a great team player, she has a big heart, and she likes to share the ball."
Bergner and Ustby are the two lone returning starters from last year’s team, but Ustby, who’s only entering her sophomore season, is no ordinary sophomore—she already has a pair of Division I college basketball offers.
“She was amazing her freshman year, and she’s now ten times better,” Bergner said. “She’s way more aggressive. She didn’t want to take the spotlight from the seniors (last year), but now she knows that this is her team too. She’s a lot better.”
“Last year was a good year, but I think I can build off of that from here,” Ustby said.
The Eagles lost key players such as Megan Hobday, Grace Rogers, and Madison Berg from last year’s team—filling their void in 2017-2018 is senior Josie Hansen, and juniors Anna Braun and Jordyn Berg.
“It’s going to take a team effort this year,” Berg said. “We lost three quality kids, three quality starters and it’s going to take more than three people to replace what they brought.”
The Eagles open the season on Friday in the Thanksgiving Tip-Off Tournament at the University of St. Thomas against Cretin-Derham Hall.
Created: November 20, 2017 07:47 PM
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