By BURT ANGELI
KINGSFORD - Kingsford made two points pretty clear in dispatching North Dickinson to open the girls basketball season Tuesday.
"We're pretty deep and what you see are some talented kids," Flivver coach Mike Cross said after the 70-35 decision. "I was really happy defensively with the effort (that forced 33 turnovers)."
All-Great Northern Conference second-teamer Courtney Qualley, a junior guard, canned a game-high 15 points. Junior forward Maria Wiltzius chipped in 11.
"We have a young team," Cross said. "The seniors that we lost, if not vocal leaders, were very much in charge. That's what we're looking for this year."
The Flivvers graduated All-GNC first-teamers Carlee Benzie and Andrea Roell plus Sam Fleming.
GNC honorable mention pick Amber Larson, Hannah Tresedder and Anna Shanks played at the varsity level throughout the 2013 season.
Kingsford visits Westwood on Friday where Cross may get some answers to at least one question.
"Can we handle the ball when pressured? I think we can," Cross said. "But it's going to be a work in progress.
"In the last couple years, we've kind of relied on Carlee to zip through things."
As for the Great Northern Conference, Marquette and Gladstone loom as contenders.
"Marquette is always good," Cross said. "Honestly, I think we can be right there. Gladstone, too."
SENIOR - Anna Shanks, Hannah Tresedder. JUNIOR - Maya Hendricksen, Janay Walters, Jaelyn Jennings, Sammy Lindeman, Annika Erickson, Amber Larson, Maria Wiltzius, Noelle Smith, Courtney Qualley.