Royals receive recognition

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The women’s basketball stars achieve stardom with their impressive play.

By Conrad Engstrom

Coach Jon Herbrechtsmeyer stood stunned while on the phone with his newest commit for the upcoming 2016-17 season. Taite Anderson deciding to play basketball at Bethel was unexpected but Herbrechtsmeyer knew she would be an important piece for the program moving forward.

“She showed no concern about us at all,” Herbrechtsmeyer said. “But I know the Anderson bloodline and she was someone we wanted here.”

The decision even surprised Anderson, whose dad went to Bethel and whose older brother Trey was just about to complete his freshman year at Bethel when Taite committed.

“I didn’t want to come Bethel,” Anderson said. “But after my senior year was over I wanted to play in college and called coach to tell him I’m committing.”

Standing at 5’10”, Taite Anderson looks more relaxed off the court. On the court, coach Herbrechtsmeyer places her as his power forward, a position new to Anderson when she got to college but a position in which she has excelled in her two seasons. Her play has been noticed so much so that she was one of five players selected for “Who’s the Best Sophomore in Women’s Basketball?” The poll was conducted on herosports.com and Anderson finished second.

Anderson finished the year second on the team in scoring, at 14.1 points per game. She shot 52% from the field and 50% from the three-point line. In the playoff game against St. Mary’s, the Gaels’ best defender guarded Taite Anderson instead of the Royals leading scorer Hannah Johnson.

Hannah Johnson has reached star status for the Royals. She won MIAC player of the week six times. Average a little more than 15 points. Shot 55 percent from the field. And recorded a triple double getting 10 blocks in a game. Johnson’s post play is unlike Anderson’s. Johnson uses finess and Anderson uses power. The duo works well together and Johnson, a current junior, and Anderson, a current sophomore, will have one more season together.

“Hannah Johnson gets a lot of attention on our team,” Herbrechtsmeyer said. “But Taite does an excellent job of setting her up for success.”

Anderson loves to be in the shadow. She won’t reflect on scoring points as much as other things.

“I like playing with Hannah Johnson. I think we play well off of each other,” Anderson said “As a player I like to do the extra things like get after loose balls, rebound and get deflections. I love being scrappy.”

Herbrechtsmeyer knew from the beginning what he had in Anderson. During her first practice her freshman year, the team was doing a full court drill and Anderson was excelling. Herbrechtsmeyer turned to Maddie DeBilzan, team manager and high school teammate of Anderson, and said, “Taite is going to be a star at this level.”

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