The Pine River-Backus girls’ basketball team reached the Section 5A final last season, where they fell to Upsala 47-41 at McGregor.
If the Tigers are to return to the section final, they will make it with a new look after the graduation of four starters, including Tatum Sheley and Autumn Ackerman. Sheley is continuing her basketball career at Bemidji State University while Ackerman is playing for the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
PR-B, which was 13-0 in the Northwoods Conference and 24-5 overall last season, will be building around four letterwinners, including all-conference players in senior center Journee Howard and junior guard Megan Felthous. Other letterwinners are junior center Megan Porta and junior forward Liz Downie.
“We will have a different look, but we still have players with a lot of varsity experience,” PR-B head coach Randy Schwegel said. “We do have talented players returning, but how successful the season will be depends on how fast the young girls learn the new offenses and defenses. How quickly they improve will be the key.”
Others who could contribute are sophomore guards Ashley Anderson and Allison Anderson, sophomore forward Cheyenne Swenson; freshman center Shelby Adkins; and Steph Malecha.
John Riewer and Sarah Flagstad are assistant coaches.