A season after reaching the Region 6 semi-finals, Des Lacs-Burlington is back on the hardwood with a new set of roadblocks ahead of the 2022 season.

Replacing Madison Lauf and Mackenzie Rist is at the front of mind for the Des Lacs-Burlington Girls Basketball Team.

“Our two seniors last year were great leaders. Both vocally and the on the court with the way they played hard,” Head Coach Tracy Bonn said.

But even with spots to fill, relying on one or two players hasn’t been their identity.

“That was part of our strength last year too. Teams didn’t know which one of my girls was going to step up which night. It makes us very hard to scout and prepare for because one night it might be this one, one night it might be another one and I think this is kind of the route we’ll take this year too. I think that makes us an interesting team to deal with,” Bonn said.

These preseason practices are the best chance to see who will lead the team vocally.

“It all comes down to these first two weeks of practice. Whoever is going to bring that energy to the gym is just going to take over it,” Junior Forward Katelynn Berg said.

“We’ve already seen some people peeking through as this vocal leader just in practices you can hear the encouragement and when we’re going through drills, you can hear that voice and it’s kind of starting to filter out who it’s going to be but I guess we’ll find out our first game probably,” Bonn said.

Good communication skills help DLB play a defensive brand of basketball.

“We are all friends on and off the court, which makes our defensive chemistry just so good. We know where we’re supposed to be on the court and our coaches too put so much time with us in to that side of the court that it just all become habit,” Berg said.

“Defense is really important to us. That’s kind of where our strong suit is. We go towards that during games and push for hard defense even if we can’t always get our offense going,” Senior Center Deborah Amsden said.

The Lakers hope to use these tools to build towards postseason success after falling two points short of the Region title game.

“That region loss last year really fueled our fire, and we just know that we were that close and that we can go so much further. We put in so much work in the offseason. I can already tell it’s going to be a great year,” Berg said.