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Aberdeen Christian girls’ basketball team will have new look

Aberdeen Christian girls basketball coach Cristian Martinez, center, talks to his players as they prepare to run a defensive drill during practice Monday at the Aberdeen Civic Arena. Photo by John Davis taken 11/28/2022

After competing in its first ever State B girls’ basketball tournament a year ago, Aberdeen Christian will feature an entirely new look this season from its coach down to its starting lineup.

The Knights, who will be led by first-year coach Cristian Martinez, had four starters graduate and another transfer. That means there will be plenty of new faces in new places this upcoming season.

“It is a rebuilding season,” Martinez said. “We’re starting pretty much everybody from scratch. I know that we have some players that can make a big impact.”

The Knights do have a pair of players who played in the state tourney a year ago. Juniors Chloe Bosma and Chloe Holt both were both key reserves on the squad last season and should provide leadership for this year’s young team.

“They are actually pretty good teachers,” Martinez said. “The young players look up to them. That’s a good thing. We have to use that experience.”

The team has just one senior on the roster this year, Rachel Beaner, who is no stranger to the big stage. She has competed in multiple state events in both cross country and track and field.

“She has that experience of being in front of people,” Martinez said.

Additional help will come in the form of Sophia Fogarty and Bailey Englund.

The Knights will also rely on a trio of eighth-graders who played key roles on the school’s volleyball team this past fall in Jolie Fogarty, Payton Skarin and Sophia Eichler.

The season will also be a transition for Martinez who is not only in his first year as a varsity coach, but also coaching girls for the first time.

He said the players have made things easy so far in practice.

“There are very coachable, so it is amazing,” Martinez said.

Aberdeen Christian’s Chloe Holt, left, drives around Britton-Hecla’s Goiuri Sarria, right, during a game last season at the Aberdeen Christian School gym. Photo by John Davis taken 1/3/2022

Martinez, who played professionally during his days in Puerto Rico, said the Knights plan on playing a more up-tempo style this season.

“We are short. It seems like it’s running pretty good for my system,” Martinez said. “I like the fast ball movement. I’m just trying to develop them. We’re still figuring it out.”

The Knights will open their season by hosting Herreid-Selby Area one week from tonight at the Aberdeen Civic Arena.

For now, the young squad is concentrating on a new system under a new coach in preparation for the upcoming season.

“Every coach has their goals,” Martinez said, “but for me, my expectation is teaching them first.”

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