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Somerset girls basketball gets fresh start this season

Last season, the playing time on the Somerset girls basketball team was almost completely taken up by a senior class that has since graduated.

This year, the Spartans are almost completely starting over. They return three girls who have limited varsity experience and their roster includes five freshmen who all saw extensive playing time in the team's season opener on Monday. The Spartans lost that game to a respected Bloomer team, 67-29.

The Spartans will be built around three returning seniors: Sadie Gilbertson, Anna Siggens and Sarah Krig. Filling in around them is a host of young players who are making a big step up from junior high ball.

"It's going to take a complete team effort for us to compete and win games," said Somerset coach Kendrick Livers. "The girls want to learn and they want to play."

With Livers and Siggens involved in Somerset's march to the state football championship, the team's pre-season has been a bit scrambled. Livers is an assistant coach on the football team and Siggens was one of the team's managers. The girls had held just six full practices together before facing Bloomer, a team returned most of its players from last season.

Gilbertson led the Spartans by scoring 12 points on Monday. The rest of the scoring was balanced through the team. Livers said the team showed some nervousness in the first half, which included a 20-0 run by the Blackhawks. The Spartans settled down in the second half, limiting Bloomer to nine points. Livers played his reserves in the fourth quarter, getting them some experience while resting the starters for the two other games the teams had scheduled during the week.

The seniors and freshmen on the varsity roster do have some experience playing together. Knowing that they'd like be teaming up this season, those two groups of girls played together last summer to build some familiarity.

The Spartans continue their season this Friday as part of a varsity double-header against St. Croix Falls. The boys varsity game will be played at 5:45 p.m. in Somerset, followed by the girls varsity game at 7:30 p.m. The junior varsity games will be played at the opposite times at the Somerset Middle School gym. Somerset's girls will also be in action next Monday when they travel to Hayward.