The Montevideo girls basketball team will open the season with a West Central Conference South home game against Benson on Tuesday.
The Thunder Hawks, 7-16 overall and 4-8 in the conference last season, have a new coach this season, as B-team coach DeDe Epema takes over the varsity reins.
The team has two returning starters in senior guard Tia Diggins and junior forward Ashley Hoehne. Both were all-conference selections last season, with Diggins winning team MVP honors. Hoehne averaged 13.3 points and 6.0 rebounds and Diggins averaged 12.5 points and 4.5 boards.
Other returning letter winners are seniors Catherine Haugen and Kelsey Quigley, juniors Chelsey Hass, Jessie Janisch and Tori Kuhlmann and sophomore Natalie Feldhake.
"We lost eight seniors last year so we've got a lot of newcomers stepping up this year," said Epema. "We're looking to push the ball a lot this year."
The Thunder Hawks scrimmaged against Albany and Upsala last Saturday and they will scrimmage against Blake this Saturday.
Benson was 8-18 last season, with a 2-10 conference record. The Braves return all-area guard Emma Peterson, who averaged 21.4 points last year and has scored more than 1,000 career points.