No one ever said it was going to be easy.

After playing in Class A last season and reaching the regional final, there was plenty of optimism around the Haslett girls’ basketball program heading into this season. The Vikings not only had the core of last year’s team returning, but they also dropped down to Class B.

The Vikings opened the season on a roll and are ranked among the top teams in the state in Class B, but the road to the Breslin Center became a lot rockier in mid January when standout senior Makenna Ott suffered a stress fracture in her leg.

Ott, one of the premier players in the state who is is headed to Hillsdale College to play college basketball, was averaging 15 points and eight rebounds at the time of the injury. She sustained the injury in a game against rival DeWitt and scored 25 points in that game while playing on the broken leg. It was not known until after the game that she had the stress fracture. Ott will be in a walking boot and on crutches until Feb. 9, when she will meet with doctors to assess her chances of playing again.

While the loss of Ott is major, the Vikings have a solid, all-around team that can pull together and keep the dream alive. It is full of talented players who can make up for the loss collectively. “We all have to realize that no one player is going to replace Mak,” coach Robert Currier said. “All of the girls are going to have to do just a little more and a little different things. No one is going to replace all 15 points and eight rebounds from Mak. It’s going to take a team effort. We have done this before, as we did play all last summer without her when she had a stress fracture last summer.

“Makenna was one of three seniors we have who have signed with college teams,” Currier said. “Senior guards Kenzie DeCook and Adrianna Stolicker are also four-year varsity players who will be playing college. Both of them will be going to Northwood. Karson Tripp is a six footer who will also be playing in college somewhere. She is a three-year varsity player.”

Stolicker and DeCook are both averaging around 10 points per game, and Tripp is averarging 13 points per game. Junior Megan Mowid is another versatile player who can play any of the guard positions, and she is averaging nine points per game. “All of our starters are averaging between eight and 15 points per game,” Currier said. “We have a number of different kids who, on a given night, can give us 15 to 20 points.”

Senior Shannon Szedlak is the team’s best defensive player and brings energy off the bench.

Haslett has played a rugged schedule this year that has included games against DeWitt, Williamston, Waverly, and Goodrich. “One of our goals has been to be ready for the tournament,” Currier said. “That is why we play such a demanding schedule.”

Currier also credits his assistant coach, Dave Miller, with helping prepare the team to meet the challenge. “Dave has done a great job,” Currier said. “He’s given a lot of his time for this team.

“As a group, these girls have played together for awhile. They are the nicest group of kids I have coached in my 13 years. They support each other and have made coaching them a very fun experience.”