Menomonee Falls girls basketball coach Craig Amundson has been at this for well over a decade, so he's not about to hit the panic button when it comes to his almost completely rebuilt team this winter.
The Indians lost their opener to Kettle Moraine Lutheran, 65-28, in the Brookfield Central Thanksgiving Shootout on Friday.
"Honestly, I'm just as excited as I've ever been, we're just hoping to improve every time out," he said.
The Indians lost five multiyear, letter-winning seniors to graduation including two-time All-Suburban and state triple jump recordholder Mikayla Robertson as well as college hoops scholarship winners Erin Crownover and Amber Bullock.
That trio accounted for a great deal of the Indians' scoring and rebounding last winter during a 13-10 campaign.
Falls does have one returning starter in 5-11 senior forward Erin Otzelberger, who has state championship experience with the girls volleyball team.
The other returnees of note include 5-10 junior Laura Marx and 5-7 senior Claire Mohrfeld.
Other than that, Amundson is taking a long look at a lot of people. Those who contributed in the Lutheran loss include 5-8 freshmen Marissa Igunbor and Kylie Sprecher and 5-7 freshman Madison Grzesiak.
"The kids are really just getting to know one another," Amundson said. "We've set our goals and we're working on setting up some good team chemistry. We're looking for every opportunity we can to do some team building.
"What I've liked so far is our improvement. For as young as we are we have improved so much. We're starting to know where each other is on the floor and the passes are becoming more accurate. In fact, the Saturday after (the loss to Lutheran) was our best practice yet.
"We just need to identify who can score for us."
Amundson said the team is starting to get more multisport athletes out which is helping the overall talent level.
The Indians have a challenging opening schedule including at West Bend West on Thursday, at home against border rival Germantown at 6 p.m. Saturday, at Homestead on Monday (7:30 p.m.) and at Greater Metro power DSHA on Tuesday (7:30 p.m.).
"I've got some coaches looking at me funny for this schedule," Amundson said with a chuckle.
Amundson said the team is very smart as 90 percent of them reported all A's on the latest grading sheets.
"Last year's group was very smart last season, too. We even nominated them for Academic All-State," he said. "That's great to see."
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