Lady Beavs will rely on speed, defense

J.P. Plutt
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Stat accumulator

Dillon junior Ainsley Shipman drives the lane during 2019 competition. Shipman led or finished in the top three in almost every relevant stat category in a season in which the Lady Beavers advanced to the state A tournament. Teri Haverfield photo

A year after advancing to the state tournament where they won one and lost one and then had the tourney canceled due to COVID, the Lady Beavers are intent on starting fast and finishing strong to improve on the state tourney run of a year ago.

“I think our goals, especially looking at how the divisional is going to play out, our goal is to win the conference,” said thirdyear Dillon coach John Hansen. “We absolutely have to be a 1 or 2 seed because there is the chance that divisional would follow the football format where the higher-seeded team would host. There is that possibility that if you’re a 1-seed, you could host all the way through the divisional championship game.”

With that being said, Hansen sees the conference as wide open and challenging.

With three talented seniors now gone, Hansen sees his team’s depth tested, but speed will still rule in the blue and gold. The top six or seven players are track burners and pressure defense will remain the Lady Beaver trademark.

Ainsley and Maddie Shipman have a small collection of state track gold medals and will lead Dillon’s attack, though Maddie, a senior, is still working through an injury from cross country.

Juniors Lauryn Petersen and Jordyn Walker were steady players a year ago off the bench and will be looked to as starters this season. Both players played a role in Dillon’s 2018 state title track effort.

Junior Evey Hansen had her season cut short last year but returns with talent in the post and leadership ability.

Speedsters off the bench will include freshman Sydney Petersen and sophomores Guildy Browning and Bri Williams.

“We’ll be similar to last year,” said the Dillon coach. “We will try to get people frustrated with the press and try to get up and down, really pushing the tempo.”

Dillon opens Saturday hosting Livingston at 4 p.m. An “unfinished business” game. Last year, the teams were set to play at state on Saturday morning just before the COVID cancellation.