Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Pierre Bibbs

Seventh Grade Girls go undefeated in 2020


December 16, 2020

The Malta Middle School 7th Grade Girls Basketball team. BACK ROW (L-R) Head Coach Kelly Cederberg, Kendall Clausen, Brooklynn Knowles, Denver Tuss, Shaylee Hines, and Sadie Branham. BOTTOM ROW (L-R)... MJ Beaman, Kenzie LaBrie, Karlie LaBrie, Kylie Bishop, Emree Stuart, and Layla Messerly. NOT PICTURED: Team Manager, Mackayla Bachmeier. Photo by Shyla Clausen.

The 7th Grade Girls Basketball team went 9-0 this last season, giving parents a reason to cheer in a year of uncertainty.

"I attribute our successful season to our extremely strong defensive skills. Kendall, Denver, Brooklynn, Shaylee, and Sadie played very tough defense, and shut players down from shooting in the key," Coach Kelly Cederberg told the PCN.

She also said that this year's team had great guards, including Emree, Kylie, Kenzie, and Karlie who called out plays and set the girls into their offense.

Talent and effort were not the only things that impressed Coach Cederberg this season, she also noticed that this group was open to adjusting.

"The girls were very coachable. I fixed minor things about their game, they were willing to take the advice, practiced, and essentially remastered that skill," Coach Cederberg said. "They are a coach's dream."

In addition to getting along with their coach, the team also proved to be friends off and on the court.

"They got along so well," Coach Cederberg said. "They knew and recognized their role on the team, and respected everyone else's roles. They were constantly helping each other, giving advice, and never got down or upset with each other when they made mistakes."

Layla, MJ, and Sadie were first-timers this season, and Coach Cederberg was encouraged by their growth this season.

"They learned the game, many new skills, and are wanting to play again next year, so that makes me happy," Coach Cederberg said. "That is how you build a basketball program. I am glad they decided to join our team."

MacKayla was the team's manager this season, and though she wasn't sweating on the court, she worked hard to make sure the team was prepped for every practice and game.

Her duties included counting free throws, making sure that the med bag was packed for every game, making sure that game jerseys were ready, and doing everything that the team needed.

"We couldn't have done it without her," Coach Cederberg said. "She learned how to keep book this year also, and did an awesome job."

Emree Stuart defends a Wolf Point player during a 7th Grade Basketball Game. Photo by Shyla Clausen.

The team played Whitewater, a team that Coach Cederberg respected because of how tough they were. She said that playing Whitewater two times this year was fun.

"We were so evenly matched with them, they made us work for our win but in the end that made us stronger players," Coach Cederberg said.

In their first meeting with Whitewater, Malta won 16-13 in a defensive battle. The second game, Malta won 28-15.

The uncertainty of the year due to COVID-19 was a challenge, laced with canceled and rescheduled games, but the team was able to finish the year. It was an undefeated season in spite of a difficult year.

"It seemed to be a rollercoaster season, but our girls went with the flow, and never got down," Coach Cederberg said. "We were extremely thankful for each bus trip we had, every game we played, and we made the most out of our trips."


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