Girls' basketball preview: Hershey Panthers

HERSHEY, Neb. (KNOP) - The Hershey girls' basketball team comes in to the 2019-20 season with a new head coach. Jordan Nelson comes to Hershey from Madison high school.

Hershey girls' basketball players run a drill at an early season practice (Credit: Patrick Johnstone/KNOP-TV)

"I really want to have a fun season with the girls. I think we have good numbers, I think it's a basketball community, and I love basketball, so that really drew me to the environment," Nelson said about his first year with the team.

The Panthers graduated seven players last season, so there will be some new faces on the court this season. However, the Panthers are optimistic about the team this year.

"We have a lot of talent on our team, we just need to enforce it and just work as hard as we can," said senior Jenna Frels.

"We're ready to take on competition," said junior Dayonna Roberts.

Nelson has implemented 'Tell the Truth Mondays,' where every Monday he allows the girls to voice their concerns, and what things need to be fixed.

"I'm trying to preach and give the girls ownership in the process of how things are being developed in our program. We may not always agree, but I value their input. I just really like to have that relationship with them, when we have an open line of communication," Nelson said.

That communication will be important as the season progresses, but the Panthers already have good chemistry coming into the season.

"I think we mesh very well as a team we're very close we played with each other for a long time," Frels said.

Nelson has already awarded varsity spots, but starting spots can still be won, and nothing is set in stone once he does make decisions on starters.

"You earn it everyday at practice, you earn it with your effort, attitude, and performance. We want to make sure that we have the right girls in the right places," Nelson said.

The Panthers open their season on Dec. 5, when they travel to Grant to play Perkins County.