Cowgirls ready for a bounce-back year

A Cowgirl fires up a three-pointer during a pre-season practice at the CCDHS gym. (Star photo by Steve Allison)


The Custer County District High School Cowgirl basketball team is coming off one of their worst seasons in recent memory. They finished last year with a 5-15 record, their lowest win total since 2003-04, when they were 4-16.

But, with nearly every player returning, the Cowgirls have high expectations for this season.

"We are more than ready to get going," Cowgirls second-year head coach Jacqui Engstrom said. "They're anxious to get a game under their belt and see where they're at. Something that we are emphasizing this year is going 100 percent every time we hit the court, whether it's a game or practice. And they've really worked hard at that."

Engstrom took over the Cowgirl program last year, replacing Hall of Fame coach Cary Veis. In their second year together, the Cowgirls are expecting to make big strides.

"The girls are so far ahead of last year, it's really exciting for us," Engstrom said. "It's easier for the coaches; we don't have to teach as much. The girls know what they're doing and the expectations are already there. It's nice not having to implement so much new stuff."

The nucleus of the team will be a trio of seniors in Tori Swope, Shaylee Singleton and Beth Sutter. Singleton led the team in scoring last year, averaging just under 10 points per game.

Sophomore Ashlie Larson was a major player for the Cowgirls last year as a freshman and junior Kadie Heinle adds height to the Cowgirls. Juniors Makena Ellingson and Amy Blaquiere and sophomore Halie Warren round out the Cowgirls' roster.

The Cowgirls will be without the services of all-conference player Alecia Chamberlin. The junior injured her knee during the summer and is expected to miss the entire season.

"It definitely hurts us," Engstrom said. "She's an impact player. But having her with us every day, I actually think she's impacting us just as much, just a different perspective. She's still making a huge impact."

The Cowgirls expect to be in the mix in the competitive Eastern A this season.

I think we're a strong contender," Engstrom said. "It's hard to know; there's a lot of changes in the Eastern A. Talent wise, Central is up there, but they have a new coach. You just never know in the Eastern A. There's always teams stepping up. But I see us as a contender."

Cowgirl Basketball


No. Player Pos Ht Yr

10 Tori Swope G 5'6 12

12 Makena Ellingson G 5'4 11

14 Beth Sutter F 5'11 12

22 Ashlie Larson G 5'5 10

24 Shaylee Singleton F 5'8 12

32 Halie Warren G 5'5 10

34 Alecia Chamberlin G 5'8 11

42 Kadie Heinle F 6'1 11

44 Amy Blaquiere 5'9 11

Junior Varsity

No. Player Pos Ht Yr

10 Stevie Murphy G 5'1 11

12 Hadleigh Miller F 5'6 10

14 Jaylen Henderson G 5'3 10

20 Emily Regan G 5'5 10

22 Abbie Larson G 5'4 10

24 Tori Ogolin G 5'4 9

30 Kaitlyn Hirsch F 5'6 11

32 Halie Warren G 5'5 10

34 Baylie Rodenbaugh F 5'6 10

40 Jenna Swope G 5'5 9

42 Kadie Heinle F 6'1 11

52 Amy Blaquiere F 5'9 11


No. Player Pos Ht Yr

10 Kylee Licht G 5'6 9

12 Autumn Wesolowski G 5'2 9

14 Noelle Brown G 5'2 9

20 Grace Cadenas G 5'1 9

22 Ally Coleman G 5'3 9

24 Tori Ogolin G 5'4 9

30 Madissen Hill G 5'7 9

32 Sarah Moore G 5'5 9

34 Myhia Metzenberg F 5'8 9

40 Jenna Swope G 5'5 9

42 Alyssa Lohrke G 5'6 9

44 Mariah Beehler G 5'1 9

50 Paytona Jones G 5'6 9

52 Kyleigh Strub F 5'6 9

Head Coach: Jacqui Engstrom

Assistant Coaches: Molly Holmen, Lacey Haughian, Niki LaPlante

Managers: Bailey McDowall, Maklay Bulock, Katie Beeler, Makayla Cook