Over the past few years, Two Harbors has always looked to its inside game as the catalyst for its offense.
With two players, Tori Bott and Ayla Lemke, standing more than 6 feet tall, it was an easy choice for coach Chris Lemke to make in pounding the ball inside before stretching the floor with outside shooting.
While Bott is still playing for the Agates - Ayla graduated in 2017 - the team is looking to its large junior class to push the pace. Two Harbors has just one senior, Bott, but there is a large junior class who have played together since middle school and that group will set the tone for 2018-19.
"If you look at the girls, we have 14 juniors and a senior," coach Lemke said. "If you look at the one trait we really have, it's speed. Our ability to get up and down the court is very consistent with this squad."
Bott will still be a major scoring threat on the inside, but she has added a 3-point shot to her game that could make things a lot easier on her and the rest of the Agates.
"The thing that I think Tori has improved is she isn't just a driver and inside scorer anymore," coach Lemke said. "She's really worked on her outside shot. Almost to the point that she's hanging outside too much. She hasn't shot 3s too much in games in the past, but she's worked in the offseason like you wouldn't believe and I think that's opened some things up with her."
The Agates are still determining who besides Bott will contribute on the offensive end, but Lemke noted that junior Laura Erickson has put in a lot of work over the summer. She has the potential to develop into a second scoring option and loosen things up for Bott and the rest of the team.
Two Harbors will take some "bumps and bruises," according to Lemke - the Agates first two games are against traditional power Proctor and Class AAAA Duluth East - but once things get rolling, avoiding injuries is more important.
Two Harbors has had significant injuries to starters in each of the past three years, costing them a number of games in each of those season.
"We've had like three years in a row where we are missing some core girls," Lemke said. "If everyone is staying healthy, I think this team could win a lot of games. It's going to take a while, we'll have a slow start and there won't be a lot of blowouts. We have girls to put in there and we should be able to play at a faster pace."
Two Harbors' season tips off at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, at home against Proctor.