Continued improvement is Titans' goal this girls basketball season

The roster for the Tartan High School girls basketball team includes four players who aren't old enough to attend high school. That kind of youth has second-year head coach Tim Obr looking for improvement each and every day.

Tartan won just six games a year ago and returns two starters. There are a total of seven letter-winners back from last year's team.

"We are going to be a very young team," Obr said. "Our goal for this year is to get better every day and compete in every game."

Tartan struggled to keep games close last season but did finish the regular season with a bit of flourish by winning three of its last four contests. Obr was also impressed with how his team competed against a 26-win Roseville team in the first round of the playoffs.

"Last year we were trying to change the culture at Tartan and were handed a very difficult schedule," Obr said.

Returning starters back from last year are junior point guard Zaria Whitlock and senior center Rylee Jorges. Whitlock was honorable mention all-Metro East Conference last year and has verbally committed to Eastern Michigan University for two years from now. Senior two guard Sarah Janikowski was also all-conference honorable mention and is back for her final season.

Junior guard Anissa Krause returns from a knee injury and could reach the 1,000-point plateau this season.

Newcomers to keep an eye out for include sophomore Gabby Hicks, freshman Kendra Ekereke, eighth-graders Aurora Roberts and Ysareia Chevre and seventh-grader Takara Mason.

"Our strength will be our athleticism and speed," said Obr. "We will be able to pressure the ball.

Getting the youth on the roster up to speed on the varsity game is the Titans' challenge.

"Our weakness is our inexperience," Obr said. "We are learning something new every day."

Tartan finished sixth in the eight-team Metro East Conference last season. Hastings and Hill-Murray are the defending co-champions who along with Mahtomedi also recorded 20-plus victories a year ago.

"As always, the Metro East is a very tough conference in girls basketball," Obr said. "By the end of the year, we hope to be competing with the top teams."

Tartan opens the season with three games in five days, starting Dec. 1 with a 7 p.m.home game against Spring Lake Park. The Titans host St. Anthony Village Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. and travel to Cambridge-Isanti for a 5 p.m. tipoff on Dec. 5.

"Come watch a new brand of basketball at Tartan," Obr said. "It will be fun and exciting to watch."

Brian Meyers can be reached at††or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

2015-16 Tartan High School girls basketball schedule
Dec. 1     vs. Spring Lake Park          7 p.m.
Dec. 4     vs. St. Anthony Village          7 p.m.
Dec. 5     at Cambridge-Isanti          5 p.m.
Dec. 8     at Robbinsdale Armstrong     7 p.m.
Dec. 12     vs. Coon Rapids               8 p.m.
Dec. 18     at Mahtomedi
Dec. 22     vs. Duluth East               7 p.m.
Dec. 28     at St. Olaf tournament          TBA
Dec. 29     at St. Olaf tournament          TBA
Dec. 30     at St. Olaf tournament          TBA
Jan. 5     vs. Hill-Murray               7 p.m.
Jan. 8     at Hastings                    7 p.m.
Jan. 12     at Henry Sibley               7 p.m.
Jan. 15     at North High               6:15 p.m.
Jan. 19     vs. Simley                    7 p.m.
Jan. 22     at St. Croix Prep               7:30 p.m.
Jan. 26     at South St. Paul               7 p.m.
Jan. 29     vs. Mahtomedi               7 p.m.
Feb. 2     at Hill-Murray               7 p.m.
Feb. 5     vs. Hastings               7 p.m.
Feb. 9     vs. Hudson                    7 p.m.
Feb. 11     vs. Henry Sibley               7 p.m.
Feb. 16     vs. North High          6:15 p.m.
Feb. 18     vs. South St. Paul          7 p.m.
Feb. 23     at Simley                    7 p.m.
Feb. 25     vs. New Prague               7 p.m.


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