All hands on the court

  • Article by: AARON PAITICHSPECIAL TO THE STAR TRIBUNE
  • Updated: December 6, 2012 - 12:21 AM

Rosemount hopes to mold its team around the success of ultra-competitive Hannah Grim.

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Profile on Rosemount girls basketball player Hannah Grim. All photos from a recent practice session.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

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Hannah Grim grew up getting pushed around by her older brother Chris. She'd challenge him in any sport -- football, baseball, basketball, running, you name it.

He didn't make it easy on her, but it helped Grim develop the ultra-competitive attitude she flaunts to this day.

"We'd always play sports together in our backyard or in our driveway," said Grim, who leads the Irish in scoring at 18.3 points per game. "He'd always try to push me around. I think it all comes from him. I just never wanted him to beat me."

That attitude is exactly what the Rosemount girls' basketball team is going to need this year to survive in the always-competitive South Suburban Conference. Grim brings it, and it rubs off on her teammates.

"Her drive to compete and her work ethic separate her," first-year head coach Chris Orr said of Grim. "She's always the hardest worker. She always wins every single sprint."

Another reason this group needs to be feisty is the Irish aren't the tallest of teams.

"We're not blessed with height," Orr said. "At all. But we are pretty athletic."

In their regular rotation, the Irish boast several multi-sport athletes, most of whom have seen success with those other teams. Grim is a four-time state cross-country meet participant. Hannah Halterman is committed to play soccer at North Dakota. Meghan Schuster plays volleyball and softball. Sydney Newton and Kaylie Hanson play soccer. Ellie Vraa plays volleyball and is on the track team. Liz Evenocheck joins Grim on the cross-country squad.

"We're hoping to try and mold that all together and bring that success to basketball," Orr said.

Orr and his coaching staff have been working diligently with the girls since they took over to try and improve their skill sets and overall basketball IQ. Players have been receptive so far, and Orr believes he has talent to work with now to help build his program.

Without tremendous size, the Irish need to move the ball, cut to the basket hard and work for open looks and layups. This type of "five-out" offensive attack allows for a variety of players to step up and score, and Rosemount has seemed to embrace that on the stat sheet.

"We're going to need that to be successful, because teams are going to look to try and take away Hannah Grim," Orr said. "We need other girls to step up confidently and make some shots and look to create plays."

Halterman, Hanson and Schuster have added that secondary scoring punch. Grim, a varsity basketball player since her freshman year, has shouldered the scoring load. She led the South Suburban last season, averaging 20.6 points per game. Orr is looking to move Grim from the point to the wing in order to relieve some pressure on her. The hope is to allow the Irish to get her the ball in better scoring positions, where they believe she'll be the most effective. Hanson and Vraa will get chances to take over the point.

They've also played with Grim for a couple of seasons now, so there is some good chemistry already there.

The girls still have a lot to learn, but they've welcomed the new coaching staff and their philosophies with open arms.

With a warrior such as Grim and a developing cast of competitors, don't count out the Irish causing a ruckus in conference and section play.

"I've always been competitive in anything I've done," Grim said. "I've always wanted to win and show we can play with anyone."

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