MUNISING - After losing five starters from last season due to graduation, the Munising High School girls basketball team will be in a rebuilding mode in 2013-14.
That's not necessarily a bad thing, according to Mustangs' head coach Matt Mattson.
"There will be some bumps in the road, but we have enough talent to win more games than we lose," he said. "We're awfully young and lack experience ... but we have three talented freshmen."
The three first-year players - point guard Marissa Immel (5-foot-6), center Frankie Mattson (5-8, the coach's daughter) and forward Bailey Downs (5-7) - all started in Munising's 38-37 road win over Manistique Tuesday night.
"Frankie's a good defensive player and plays hard," Matt Mattson said. "She's capable of being a 10-point, 10-rebound player each night out.
"Marissa's very quick and handles the ball well. She'll do the bulk of our ball handling. She's going to be a good one.
Dec. 3 - Munising 38, Manistique 37
Dec. 6 - Munising 51, Newberry 38
Dec. 11 - Superior Central, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 16 - at Engadine, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 20 - North Central, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 30 - at Gwinn, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 3 - at North Central, 7:45 p.m.
Jan. 7 - at BR-Harris, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 10 - Carney-Nadeau, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 14 - Manistique, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 17 - at Rapid River, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 21 - at Newberry, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 23 - at Carney-Nadeau, 8 p.m.
Jan. 27 - Big Bay de Noc, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 30 - Mid Peninsula, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 4 - Engadine, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 6 - Gwinn, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 13 - at Sup. Central, 7;30 p.m.
Feb. 17 - at Big Bay de Noc, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 20 - Rapid River, 7:30 p.m.
"And Bailey is a good outside shooter and defensive player," the coach said. "All three have been good at the lower levels and just have to get acclimated to the varsity level."
Seniors Sadie Cornish (5-7 center/forward), Megan Watson (5-2 guard), Diana Charboneau (5-5 guard) and Leah Werner (6-0 center) from downstate St. Johns should aid Munising's younger players with their experience.
Forward Karlee Decet (5-7 forward) may be the team's first player off the bench, as Mattson said "she's a good baseline shooter and rebounds well."
Other Mustangs on the early team roster are Paige Brogan (5-6 junior); Morgan Lutey (5-5 junior); Courtney Livermore (5-3 junior); Monika Livermore (5-7 junior); and Kat Wendt (5-7 junior).
"We don't have a ton of size," said Mattson, entering his third year at the Munising helm. "That will be an issue.
"But I know these girls will compete. They'll battle for a win. There's going to be a learning curve and we'll have to adjust in a hurry.
"We'll also have to play good defense."
Mattson said Superior Central should be the favorite to repeat as Central U.P. League champs. He added Bark River-Harris is talented and North Central will be tough.