ROCHESTER, Minn. - With the first game of the season just days away, the Century girls basketball team is eager to get back on the hardwood. During the 2018-19 season, the Panthers didn’t win a single game. Last season, they improved with six wins. For a team that strives to get better each and every day, six wins aren’t enough this year.
“Those first few years we were all really young so we didn’t have a lot of confidence and we didn’t have a lot of experience playing together,” said junior captain, Lydia Niederstadt.
Practice makes perfect and the Century Panthers have learned that important lesson. Fellow captain, Kennedy Speer, says the team is seeing growth as a result of their hard work and dedication to the sport.
“We’re just becoming more competitive and we’re realizing we have to put in a lot more work than other teams maybe do. I think that’s really going to get us places,” Speer said.
“As a team, we’ve really grown together, become a family, trust each other with our skills and become more confident in ourselves and each other,” Niederstadt added.
Niederstadt believes the team’s track record is in its favor.
“I think we are usually overlooked and that can benefit us because we work super hard and we play until the end so that can really help us this year.”
The 2021 hoops season is bound to look different with mask requirements and limited fans in attendance. No matter what is thrown their way, this team is willing to adjust and adapt.
“It started off rough with the mask issue but we’ve gotten used to it and helped condition to it,” Niederstadt said.
“I think they’re actually not as bad to play in as we were expecting. It’s part of the uniform and everybody has to play with them so you just have to play through it,” Speer said.
Century opens the season on Jan. 16 at Owatonna.