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The Drill: Rauk helping H-BC hover near the top

Hills-Beaver Creek girls basketball player Taryn Rauk established herself as one of the best high school hoopsters in southwest Minnesota last season, and with her help the Patriots have proven themselves to be one of the top teams in the area over the past two years.

HILLS -- Hills-Beaver Creek girls basketball player Taryn Rauk established herself as one of the best high school hoopsters in southwest Minnesota last season, and with her help the Patriots have proven themselves to be one of the top teams in the area over the past two years.

But, for some reason, the team has yet to win a sub-section championship over that span.

You can blame their arch-rivals, Southwest Minnesota Christian, for that.

It’s a strange conundrum. In each of the previous two basketball seasons, H-BC defeated Southwest twice during the regular season only to lose to the Eagles in the finals of the sub-section tournament. Again this year, the Patriots edged Southwest in the first of two scheduled regular season matchups (the next game is March 13 in Edgerton just before the sub-section tournament is set to begin).

Rauk, like her teammates, can’t put her finger on why it has happened that way.

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“Those game days, we all get nervous. It’s a big game, but we don’t play any different than any other game. We go into every game knowing that it’s a big game and nothing comes easy, and we just work hard and give it our all,” Rauk said recently to The Globe. “Yeah, there might be a little mental thing, but too, I think, some games we’re just a little off. Our shooting can be off. Yeah, I think we do get kind of nervous, but I don’t think there’s anything that we should be nervous about. It’s just another game. We just have to be more confident and, hopefully, our shots will start falling.”

Maybe this will be the year. The Eagles haven’t lost a game yet, and Rauk’s confidence is high.

“I think our team this year is great,” she said. “I think we have great team chemistry, we’re just all super close together. And we have a lot of girls that know the game of basketball, and that helps a ton. I think we can go far this year. My goal is a state championship.”

Now a senior, Rauk participates for Hills-Beaver Creek not only in basketball, but also in volleyball and track and field. In track, she competes in the open 100, the open 200, the 4-by-100 relay and the 4-by-200 relay, and sometimes in the 4-by-400 and the long jump. One of her favorite memories is helping set the school record in the 4-by-100 and 4-by-200.

After her high school graduation, Rauk will attend Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa, where she plans to continue her basketball career and study to become an elementary school teacher.

She is this week’s Drill subject for the Globe, and you can watch her video online at www.dglobe.com . Here’s a sample of the interview:

QUESTION: How has your role changed on the basketball team?

ANSWER: “As a senior, my role has changed a lot, from my freshman year for sure. I used to be better at defense and just more of a defensive player. But now I’ve had to step up more on offense and be a leader for the team as these younger girls are coming in.”

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QUESTION: What are your strengths now in basketball? What are you still trying to improve?

ANSWER: “I’d say some of my strengths are hustling, and my defense. And some of my weaknesses are ball handling and just some offensive things I could work on to get better. Be more aggressive, maybe, too.”

QUESTION: Tell us something about yourself that some people don’t know.

ANSWER: “Something unusual about me is that one of my pupils is actually bigger than the other one. I can’t really explain why, I was just born that way, I guess. But when people find that out, they think it’s super cool. I personally think it’s kind of weird but everybody thinks it’s cool, so …”

021021N DG Hills Beaver Creek basketball Taryn Rauk Drill S1.jpg
Hills-Beaver Creek girls basketball player Taryn Rauk. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

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