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The record is 0-2, the team is inexperienced, there are almost no varsity baskets returning from the previous season and the North Shore Conference is tougher than ever.

But new Nicolet girls basketball coach Megan Lund is still high on the team, and among the pluses is the enthusiasm of the team itself, as well as a veteran and familiar coaching staff that includes former longtime Knight head coach and recently retired Whitefish Bay athletic director John Gustavson and former Knight playing star Angela Wigley.

"We are incredibly optimistic," said Lund, who takes over from Dan Gibbon and is in her fourth year with the program. "I think we may have the least returning points in the country. We have only two girls back who contributed last year, but we have an incredible group of freshmen and a great group of sophomores.

"We're going to learn the game together and how to play with one another. Hopefully it won't be too bumpy a road."

The Knights lost to West Allis Hale, 54-32, on Nov. 17, and to West Bend West, 68-31, on Nov. 22.

They have two North Shore Conference games this week, including a home tilt Thursday, Dec. 1, against defending league champion Germantown.

The two returnees Lund will build around are senior captain and forward Leah Schmirler and sophomore guard Jaya Williams. A freshman who will be helpful is 5-10 forward Lauren Soyke.

Other seniors include guards Laura Keyser and Amina Jones and forward Alexis Haupert. There are six sophomores and two freshmen on the varsity.

"They're all very inexperienced, but they are feisty and very unselfish," Lund said. "They're becoming great teammates and are very excited about the process."

And about the two losses so far?

"They're just setting us up for some incredible improvement down the road," she said. "There were times we looked like a real team. It's just going to take time to see who's willing to step up and respond mentally. We're just working hard, trying to be better."

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