The top returning player is a good one in sophomore Morgan Henderson, a first team all-conference and all-district honoree who averaged 16 points and eight rebounds per game as a freshman a year ago. However, Henderson is joined by three other returning starters in juniors Makayla Bowers, Jamie Crawford, and Jordan Shewmaker.
Hannah Gilpin, a 5-6 junior, also saw some starting minutes last season, while 5-7 fellow classmate Taylor Abraham was a key contributor off the bench. Seniors Sarah Hallemeier and Britney Eagleburger, as well as junior Meg Cantrell, will also factor prominently in any Lady Bison success this season.
“Obviously, Henderson makes us go for the most part,” said head coach Eric DeRossett. “However, we really like the other players that we are putting around her. Many of them have at least two years of varsity experience.
“Crawford, Bowers, and Shewmaker all started most of the year for us last year, but Hallemeier, Gilpin, Abraham, and Cantrell all contributed as well. We like our depth and we are an unselfish group. We feel like we could have as many as 10 or 11 people contribute on the varsity level for us this year.”
The Lady Bison play hard-nosed defense and have plenty of quickness, but lack height. “Defensively, we do a pretty good job for the most part,” said DeRossett. “If we don’t turn it over, we feel that we can play up-tempo. We are undersized in the post, though. We must overcome that and rebound well.”
Buffalo returns plenty of talent to post a winning record this season. However, part of that improvement is psychological. The Lady Bison have the talent to win, but believing that they are as good as some of the traditional powers on the schedule could be key.
“We are looking forward to a new year,” said DeRossett. “Our players feel much more confident than they have in the past two seasons. We have increased athleticism this year, and we feel that should help us get some transition baskets. We think we are better, but how much better remains to be seen.”
“We hope to have things smoothed out by Christmas and hope to be playing our best basketball in the second half of the season,” added DeRossett. “The COC is always brutal and our district includes tradition-rich Marshfield, Bolivar, and Hillcrest. There is no easy night for us.”