It’s amazing to note that Aitkin Gobbler girls basketball coach Donavon Daiker is one of two coaches in the Mid-State Conference with the most tenure – considering this is just his second year.

While Daiker might be new to Aitkin, he has plenty of experience back from last year’s team – a squad that saw its season end early due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Gobblers will get back on the court Thursday at home against Moose Lake.

“We have our four leading scorers back and are really leaning on our core six to lead the way,” Daiker said. “We have a number of underclassmen who will really help out.”

The Gobblers bring back Rae Nyberg and Teagan Piecek, who both averaged 12 points per game last year. Ally Ehnstrom, meanwhile, added an average of eight points per game.

Sarah McMillan may have just put up five points per game, but averaged 10 rebounds as well.

Bella Westerlund returns as does Jillian Cline, while sophomores Ella Janzen and Ailie Kullhem and freshman Taryn Olson will get plenty of game action.

The Mid-State will be tough again according to Daiker.

“Pequot Lakes will be very good again, while Detroit Lakes is always big,” he said. “We don’t have an easy game in the conference, with 10 of our 18 games in the loop. We lost some kids from last year for different reasons – some being COVID-19 – but I like our team and I think we will be fun to watch this year. The season will go by fast, so I hope we can get some fans out to watch.”

The opener is Thursday with game time at 6 p.m. since Moose Lake will not have a JV team until they get back into school full-time.

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