(ANNAPOLIS) The South Iron girls basketball team enters the 2017 season fresh off a third place finish last year in the Class 1 state tournament. Only graduating one senior, the Panthers are in prime position under 5th year head coach Lawrence Graves to return to the Class 1 Final Four. Graves speaks to the depth of this year’s group.

The returning starters for the Panthers are senior Ashley Mickan, junior Dara Miller and sophomores Michaela Ayers and Jada Brooks.

Graves believes that having tough opponents on the schedule last year is the reason they got as far as they did. For 2017, the competition will be even stronger.

The Panthers tipped off the new season Friday with a 65-48 loss to Alton. At 0-1, South Iron enters the 28th Valley Caledonia Tournament as the one seed and will face Bismarck in the first round tonight at 5:15. Our coverage begins Wednesday at 3:45 on J-98 with the girls and boys semifinals.

Full Interview with HC Lawrence Graves