After several seasons of struggling with numbers in the program, the numbers are up for the Somerset girls basketball team.
And with a double-digit group of freshmen, the Spartans are in a position to have a depthful program for years.
The Spartans do have a hearty core of veteran returners playing, who all have multiple years of varsity experience. That group is led by seniors Liv Hoff and Eve Goldstein, along with juniors Rachel Gaikowski, Taylor Paulson and Dani Schachtner.
The first challenge for the Spartans is to replace the scoring of Georgia Hammer, the only senior who graduated from the team. The Spartans will need to make adjustments quickly, because they are among the first area teams to open their season. Somerset hosts Altoona on Tuesday to begin the 2019-20 season. The Spartans will also be in action Thursday, playing at Unity.
With Schachtner, Goldstein and several freshmen post players, the Spartans have revamped their offense in the offseason. Spartan coach Cory Lindenberg said the team has installed a high-low post offense to see all the possible benefits from the team’s new infusion of height.
Lindenberg said he sees the team starting the season with an eight-player rotation, with four guards and four post players working in the system. He said there are more girls who could be working their way into the rotation. With the depth at guard and in the post, Lindenberg said the rotation can be adjusted to match the strengths of the opponent. Lindenberg said the depth allows the starters the chance to play at full intensity, knowing they have reserves who can step in to give them a breather.
Ultimately, Lindenberg said the team’s fortunes come down to one thing.
“We’re a mystery. It’ll come down to shot making,” Lindenberg said. “I can see us having some growing pains, but once they settle into their roles, we could string some things together.”