The Boyer Valley girls completed a .500 overall season a year ago on the basketball court with an 11-11 record under head coach Larry Neilsen.
Neilsen returns for his 19th season on the bench, as the Lady Bulldogs prepare for the 2020-21 winter campaign with five letterwinners back in uniform from last year’s club that also went 10-6 in the Rolling Valley Conference.
Three of five veterans return as starters in senior guard Katelyn Neilsen, junior guard Leah Cooper and sophomore forward Talia Burkhart.
Katelyn Neilsen, Cooper and Burkhart were one, two and three in scoring for the Lady Bulldogs a year ago.
Katelyn Neilsen averaged 14.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.
She led BV with 61 three-point baskets and was second in assists (54) and steals (48) en route to being recognized on the RVC first team for the second year in a row.
Cooper averaged 10.8 points and a team-high 7.4 boards per game last winter. She also led the team with 56 steals and was among the leaders in assists with 42 en route to earning RVC second-team honors.
Burkhart averaged 7.1 points and 4.8 boards per game a year ago. She also had 38 steals on the year.
Other returning veterans for BV are senior guard Kylie Petersen and junior forward Jaci Petersen.
Filling out the squad are juniors Maci Miller and Makenzie Dumbaugh; and freshmen Ava Ten Eyck, Kristen Neilsen, Lauren Malone, Jessica O’Day, Anna Seuntjens, Zoey Hanak and Abby Mandel.
"Our strengths definitely begin with having our top three scorers back from a year ago. We’re not tall and depth is a concern, as half of our squad are freshmen," commented Larry Neilsen, who will be joined on the bench by assistant coaches Julie Malone and John Kline.
The Lady Bulldog boss feels that Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton will be the favorite in the RVC.
"I think the conference will be very competitive this year. A lot of schools are looking good and we’re going to need to be ready for every contest," Neilsen said.
"Exira/EH-K will again be the team to beat. I think CAM, Paton-Churdan and Woodbine all could make a run for the top half of the league. I also feel that we could be in the mix as well," the Lady Bulldog boss stated.
23 - at Maple Valley/A-O/CO-U
1 - at CAM; 4 - vs. Ar-We-Va; 7 - vs. West Monona; 11 - vs. Glidden-Ralston; 15 - vs. Woodbine; 17 - at Audubon; 18 - at Coon Rapids-Bayard; 22 - vs. Paton-Churdan
4 - at Logan-Magnolia; 5 - at West Harrison; 8 - at Exira/EH-K; 12 - vs. CAM; 15 - at Ar-We-Va; 22 - at Glidden-Ralston; 26 - at Woodbine; 29 - vs. Coon Rapids-Bayard
2 - at Paton-Churdan; 4 - vs. IKM-Manning; 5 - vs. West Harrison; 8 - vs. Exira/EH-K