The Festus Tigers girls basketball team is rebuilding heading into a new season. The Tigers will be led by six returning starters and/or letterwinners, with four players now upperclassmen. With another year of experience, they hope to surpass last season’s finish that ended in the district semifinals.
Returning to the squad are Sophomore guards Mya Courtois and Taylor Thompson, Junior forwards Samantha Helbrueck and Emily Holt, Junior post Lily Knickman and Senior point guard Tristan Foulk. Knickman was the team leader in field goal percentage (35.5%), while Courtois stood out in the three-point department (25%).
Unfortunately, the Tigers will be without Kate Todd, Abby Rickermann, and Kinsey Benack in the 2020-21 season. Benack, also a volleyball player, sustained a knee injury and won’t be fir for action as she recovers. Both Benack and Rickerman are significant losses as they were both All-Conference and All-District. Rickermann was also the team leader in scoring, assists and steals.
Rickermann had 285 points last season, an average of 15 per game, while Benack put up 251 for an average of 11 per game. Of the returning players, Knickman led in points with 105, followed by Foulk’s 70 and Thompson’s 54.
“All six of our returners will play an important role this season. They have all improved their game and are a year older and experienced. Josie Allen will be our point guard. She missed last season due to a knee injury. She will make a tremendous impact this season as a ball handler and scorer,” Head Coach Steve McFarland said.
The admittedly smaller team has challenges ahead in the form of two new opponents, and its first appearance at a new tournament. The game plan throughout the year will be a combination of aggressiveness and speed according to McFarland.
“We have a good competitive schedule this year. Our conference has gone to a home and away schedule and we have joined the Fountain City Tournament for the first time. The Park Hills Christmas Tournament is always very strong. We also have added Oakville to our schedule to go along with Union and Ste. Genevieve as premier teams,” McFarland said.
The Tigers girls basketball season kicks off on the road at Oakville. Game time is 7 p.m. on December 8 at the Oakville Senior High School gym.