ROSEAU, Minn.-Few, if any, Minnesota girls basketball teams start the season with a one-two punch comparable to Roseau with sisters Kacie and Katie Borowicz.
What develops in an otherwise new look lineup could well determine if Roseau High School can win its fifth consecutive Section 8AA championship.
Besides the Borowicz sisters, both of whom were all-state selections last season, the only players back with any extensive varsity experience are Julia Braaten and Emma Waling. The two were reserves on last season's Class AA state runner-up team.
"Kacie and Katie have to be among the best in the state,'' Rams coach Kelsey Didrikson said. "For sure, in Class 2A, I don't know who would have a better backcourt. We were ranked No. 1 in 2A in the preseason. That's a credit to them, a respect for what they bring to the table.
"Now if we can get the other girls in place, finding their roles, it will be a tough combination to beat.''
Kacie Borowicz, a senior and UND recruit, averaged 26.5 points a game last season. Katie, a sophomore, averaged 18.9 points.
"They're special players,'' Didrikson said.
So, do the Rams go as far as the standout sisters can take them? Or do they go as far as the supporting cast develops?
"I don't know if I know the answer to that yet,'' Didrikson said. "We know Kacie and Katie are good. They can will us to a lot of wins. But our chances of doing well are better if the supporting cast develops.''
Said Kacie Borowicz: "There is a lot of learning, a lot of teaching. It will be a season of finding roles for everybody.''
Braaten, a sophomore who averaged 3.1 points last season, has emerged as a third scoring option. She's scored in double figures in every game for the 2-1 Rams.
"Julia loves the game,'' Didrikson said. "She's the kid who is at the gym every weekend. She's a good perimeter shooter and she knows how to get into the right spot to score.''
Right now, Didrikson said, the most realistic expectation is that several of the other players can contribute a few baskets a game.
"Katie and I have to do more to get more people involved in the offense,'' Kacie said. "Julia has been putting up big numbers. We have to try to get other girls in scoring position as much as possible.''
Scoring hasn't been a problem. The Rams opened the season with 89 points against Warroad, then scored 71 against Grand Forks Red River and 66 against Thief River Falls.
But defense is a concern as Roseau doesn't have a starter taller than 5-foot-8.
"We're so different from last year,'' Didrikson said. "The big thing is we graduated our size. We lost three good post players. We're basically starting five guards.
"We have to play physical. Our hustle has to be exaggerated. We can offset that lack of size with our speed.'''
This is the youngest, least experienced team Didrikson has had in her sixth season as Roseau's head coach. But depth is a greater concern.
"We've been fortunate to have been able to run eight, nine girls in and out in the past,'' Didrikson said. "I don't know if we'll have that this year.''
For all the unknowns and changes, the goal is unchanged-winning a section title.
"I think we have a good shot at it,'' Kacie said. "But we still have to go out and prove ourselves.''