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Ishpeming, MI – The Ishpeming Hematites have high expectations entering this season. Anything short of a postseason run will be considered a disappointment.

Winning is expected and they plan to do it by getting up and down the court.  

Mariah Austin, a senior guard for the Hematites said, “We want to be running all the time. We want it to be fast pace. We’re just a running group and we want to be getting the ball up the floor.” 

Ryan Reichel, the Ishpeming Head Varsity Basketball coach said, “We like to get the game in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Hard-nosed defense and share the ball. Every girl on the floor has permission to shoot and we want to have a fun and exciting show.”  

The Hematites return a lot of talent, Including 4 starters who have been playing at the varsity level since their sophomore year.

They are led by Madigan Johns and Mariah Austin who were both 1st team All-Conference and All- U.P. Dream Teamers last season. 

“Madigan and Mariah have shown a lot of growth. They put a lot of time in this summer with individual training, athletic training just on their bodies. The mental aspect is where they are at their best right now. I can say stuff to them, I can critique their game and they’re going to go and fix it instead of taking it personal and that’s what you get with growth and maturity,” said Reichel.

Chemistry will be one of the hematite’s biggest advantages.

“We all know each other on the floor and where we’re going to be at times. We all know what we’re going to be doing,” said Austin.

“We know each other and how we move and how we’re going to react to certain things, so that helps,” added Johns. 

“You know, experience is key at this level. Having four returning players who can think for you. Practice has been a little easier because they’ve been through our drills. This summer, they were doing some of the coaching and calling plays themselves. So having that on-the-court recognition without me having to facilitate a lot of things has been really nice,” concluded Reichel.  

The Hematites host Bark River-Harris tomorrow in their season opener.