By Jacki Wood

The North Nodaway girls basketball team has grown alongside its head coach, Sami Jackson, and her assistant and twin, Lindsi, over the last couple of years.

And now the Mustangs look to continue that growth and find even more success.

“This group has been with me since I started and they are a fun group of girls,” Jackson said. “We have the potential to win more games this year than we have in the past and I’m excited to see these girls go out every game and fight for that.”

The team went 13-14 last year, 3-4 in the 275 Conference, and lost just one senior to graduation, Breann O’Riley.

“We have a lot of young players ready to step up as reserves for our point guard position that I think will help with the loss of Breann,” Jackson said. “Last year, we got better all season long. We started at a lower point then what we wanted but were able to keep fighting and turned our season around.”

Senior forward Madison Thompson led the Mustangs in scoring, rebounds and blocks last year while junior guard Alisha Davison led the team in assists and steals and was second in scoring.

Other returning letterwinners include Bethany Herndon, Kelsi Oberhauser, Kristin Herndon and Ashley Thompson.

“This year, our goal is to start where we left off,” Jackson said. “We have the experience and numbers to start our season on a good foot. Our biggest area of improvement we are working on is lowering our turnovers and protecting the ball.”

Jackson said their toughest opponents will potentially be Mound City, Rock Port, South Nodaway and Jefferson.

The Mustangs began the season with a 31-32 loss to North Harrison and then won the consolation trophy at the Mound City Tournament.