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West Hancock girls basketball team

The 2017-2018 West Hancock High School Girls Basketball Team. (front row, from left)Emmaly Fields, Aileen Lechuga, Autumn Hilderbrand, Carlee Bruns, Ann Horstman, Alexis Reinking and Shae Smith. (middle row) Rachel Leerar, Marissa Eekhoff, Madison Eisenman and Riley Hiscocks. (back row) Kevin Wilson, Bryce Baker, Gabby Bell, Mahayla Faust, Amanda Chizek, Sydney Burgardt, Kelly Leerar, Sydney Hudspeth, Dale Hesley and Paul Sonius.

BRITT | When West Hancock opened its season Tuesday night at Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, it did so with some lofty expectations for this season.

The Eagles, who were 19-4 a year ago, debuted at No. 6 in Class 1A in the IGHSAU preseason rankings, and they’re ready to embrace that this season with a loaded roster.

Leading the way is do-everything guard Kelly Leerar, who was a first-team all-state selection by the Iowa Newspaper Associated last season. Leerar, whose season was cut short by a knee injury late in the year, averaged 18.1 points per game, handed out a team-best 140 assists, made 52 3-pointers and had 71 steals.

The Eagles will also be bolstered by the return of sophomore forward Amanda Chizek, who is back after missing part of her freshman season with a broken leg. Chizek averaged just over 10 points per game and shot over 50 percent from the field. She also led the Eagles with 233 rebounds, which was good enough for 11.1 per game.

After those two, it’ll come down to one or two more to up their scoring average, but most importantly, everyone playing their role.

Sydney Burgardt, who found her role as a rebounder last year with 118, is back for her senior season. Brigid Smith, who is a senior, has been one of the Eagles’ best defenders over the past two seasons.

Madison Eisenman and Mahayla Faust played big roles last year as freshmen and will be counted on once again.

Also look for Sydney Hudspeth, Katlyn Ohrt, Riley Hiscocks and Ryann Hagen to see plenty of action for the Eagles.

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