Garrison guard Mia Gehring, right, is a junior this season for the Lady Troopers (Tribune).

Three seasons ago, Garrison finished the year with five wins and two of those victories came over Max.

The Lady Troopers finished 11-11 in 2019-20 but then Matt Chase was hired last season and coached Garrison to an 18-5 record and a runner-up finish in the district.

However, Region 5 switched to a super region this season, so Garrison is looking to finish near the top out of the 11 league teams.

“In order to come out on top in regionals, we need to make sure our defense is strong and force the offense to make tough shots and passes,” junior C/F Karli Klein said about what Garrison has to do this season to compete for a Region title.

The Lady Troopers are off to a 5-0 start with wins over Surrey, Beulah, Glen Ullin-Hebron, Hazen and Solen. Region 5 is stacked at the top this season with Garrison (5-0), Central McLean (5-0) and Shiloh Christian (4-0)  all currently undefeated with Grant County 4-1 and Flasher 3-1.

Garrison has talented guards that can handle pressure and knock downs shots. Klein said the Lady Troopers’ post players play strong defensive and are always looking to score.

“We also aren’t afraid of getting physical,” she added. “We like to play aggressively and fluster the other teams.”

Garrison brings back everyone from last year’s 18-win team that includes two former All-District players in senior Sweet Cedar Perkins and junior Kaitlyn Zook. Perkins and Klein both earned All-Region honors last season.

“Playing together is something that I feel we do and that will help us in games where we play big matchups,” Klein added.

The Lady Troopers are much more experienced this season yet they only have two seniors and six juniors of their roster along with six underclassmen.

But the time is now for Garrison.

Last season, the Lady Troopers lost to Wilton-Wing 46-34 in the Region 5 semifinals and Klein said, “we don’t want to fall short again.”

And Chase has a roster that can compete for a state tournament ticket. Perkins averaged 15.5 points per game last season, while Klein added 14 per contest. Klein also finished with 40 blocks and averaged 12 rebounds per game.

Zook and Mia Gehring averaged just over eight points per contest as sophomores and combined for 83 3-pointers. Sophomore Emily Schlehr will also continue to see the hardwood this season.

The Lady Troopers have been putting up some points this season, too. Garrison is averaging 66.6 points per game and they’ve scored 65 points or more three times through five games.

But Klein said the teams success isn’t just because of Garrison’s play on the hardwood.

“Our coach has really instilled in us that in order for us to reach our goal of the state tournament, we need to be good to one another,” she said about the staying focused.

“Not just on the court or in practice, but also in school. Building that togetherness and holding each other accountable has helped our game and kept us motivated.”

Garrison travels to Des Lacs-Burlington (3-1) for a Tuesday evening matchup.

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