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The high school winter season officially kicked off on Monday as girls basketball teams began practicing once again.

Wisconsin Dells, along with the rest of the state, hit the hardwood again as the Chiefs pursuit of a return trip the WIAA state tournament. It was a groundbreaking season for Wisconsin Dells last season under coach Bob Buss, as the Chiefs qualified for state for the first-time in program history.

Wisconsin Dells dropped its second game of the season before rattling off 24-straight victories, ultimately falling to eventual state champion Marshall, 58-47, in the Division 3 state semifinals. The Chiefs went unbeaten in South Central Conference play to win its third-straight league title and finished with a 25-2 overall record.

The Chiefs lose three seniors from last year’s team, including two-time SCC Player of the Year Jenna Mace, but return nine players from that team, including three starters.

Included in that group are first team All-SCC picks, seniors Katelyn Meister and Bethany Smith.

Meister averaged a team-high 20 points per game while Smith added 6.1 to a team that averaged 58 PPG. Senior center Jamie Pfeifer (7.2 PPG) is back as the other returning starter, as well as a slew of other role players and junior varsity players looking to assume a bigger role.

Wisconsin Dells opens its season on Nov. 15 when the Chiefs play host to Westby. Wisconsin Dells opens SCC play against Adams-Friendship on Dec. 14.