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New things all-around for L’Anse girls basketball team

Members of the L’Anse Purple Hornets girls varsity basketball team include, from left, Izzy Martinez, Kailyn Voskuhl, Maija Rice, Alayna Waara, Addison Mattson, Matalie Swanson, Taylor Sanregret, Hunter Pelon and Alana Jorgenson. (Photo courtesy Paul Peterson)

L’Anse girls

2019-20 schedule

All times Eastern

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Dec. 3 — Chassell, 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 5 — at Lake Linden-Hubbell, 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 10 — at Houghton, 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 16 — Watersmeet, 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 17 — Bessemer, 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 19 — at Baraga, 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 3 — Ontonagon, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 6 — Dollar Bay, 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 9 — Ewen-Trout Creek, 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 14 — Hancock, 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 16 — Republic-Michigamme, 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 24 — at Ewen-Trout Creek, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 27 — at Ontonagon, 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 30 — Baraga, 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 3 — at Watersmeet, 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 6 — at Calumet, 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 13 — at Wakefield-Marenisco, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 18 — Wakefield-Marenisco, 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 25 — at Bessemer, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 27 — at Jeffers, 5:45 p.m.

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L’ANSE — For the first time in nearly two decades, there will be a new boss in charge of the L’Anse High School girls varsity basketball team.

Chad Rice, who has coached several years in the Purple Hornets’ program, takes over for longtime coach Scott Lloyd, who resigned in the off-season.

Lloyd coached for nearly 20 years in the system.

The new Hornets’ coach inherits a team that returns some key people from a year ago when the team finished 10-11.

“I think we have good talent coming back,” Rice said. “I’m anxious to see how this group of girls does.”

A key returnee figures to be senior guard Kaylyn Voskuhl. The 5-foot-7 Voskuhl is an athletic player on both sides of the court.

“We’re expecting great things from her,” Rice said of Voskuhl. “She’s a great all-around player who does a lot of things.”

Two other veterans who will help out greatly are senior guard Addison Mattson and junior point guard Maija Rice.

Mattson is a capable 3-point shooter, while Rice handles the point and plays tight defense.

“Those two girls are also keys for us,” Coach Rice said. “Addison (Mattson) can light it up from outside and Maija (Rice) is a good defender and (was) our leading scorer last season.”

Junior forward Natalie Swanson brings good size at 5-9 to the front court and will be looked to for rebounding strength.

Three other players expected to help the Purple Hornets are juniors Alyna Waara, Hunter Pelon and Isabel Martinez.

“They’re all strong players who can score when we need them to,” Rice said. “Plus they’re good defenders.”

L’Anse will be playing in the Copper Mountain Conference for the first time, meaning it will have to compete against teams that include Baraga, Ewen-Trout Creek and Chassell.

“It’s a good league and you know Baraga is going to be strong after last season (when the Vikings were 20-3),” he said. “Ewen-Trout Creek has a lot of talent coming back, and Chassell, Lake Linden and Jeffers are always good. But I think we can be a force.”