Beyond the Playbook: 21-2 Grand Rapids girl’s basketball eyeing deep playoff run

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The No. 3 Grand Rapids girls’ basketball team lost their first two games of the 2022-23 campaign. However since November 29th, the Thunderhawks haven’t loss a game, rattling off 21 wins in a row.

“I let the girls play, we can guide them there and give them the tools that they need. But in the end, it’s them seeing the plays reading and reacting to what they know how to do. Just reading off of each other and playing together,” said head coach Kristine Hamling.

A big part of their success is coaches own daughter and North Dakota State University commit senior Taryn Hamling.

A senior guard who this season collected her 2,000th career point and leads the team averaging 22 points per game.

“Being able to experience it [2,000pts] with my family there and the teammates, like when they made all those signs it was awesome. It just made me so happy that everybody contributed. I just try to get in the gym as much as possible,” said Taryn Hamling.

The historical plateaus continued this season for the squad as coach Hamling also posted her 200th win in her coaching career.

“When you first started off as a young coach you’re in that win-win-win mentality. Once I got a little bit older it came down to a lot more than just the wins. It’s how am I treating girls, am I being a good role model to them and are they feeding off of that,” continued coach.

Coach also said that showing her players compassion for situations also off the court has helped her behind the bench.

“I think, to show them that it’s just as much important to me what I’m doing as it is to them on or off the court. So that rubs off on them and it shows in there play,” coach concluded.

Last year the team made it to state winning the section 7AAA championship against Cloquet, before falling in the state consolation semifinal to Detroit Lakes.

“That lit a fire for us to prove something this year. That’s why I think we’ve been pushing so hard in season is because we know what we can do and what we might not have done last year. We’re really looking forward to another chance at that and giving it our all because it is a lot of our senior season,” added senior Kyra Giffen.

The Thunderhawks have three more games remaining in the regular season against Superior, Esko and concluding February 24th at home against Duluth Denfeld.