Balanced scoring and some growing pains.
That's what Brainerd Warriors fans can expect and that's what they got Monday as the Warriors jumped out to a 20-point halftime lead and then hung on to defeat the Rogers Royals 86-75 at Brainerd High School.
Expectations were as high as they've ever been and Mikayla Wing was excited.
Those expectations are still high, but not as lofty and while Wing is excited still, it's tempered.
The Staples-Motley point guard came out of the gates on fire.
Eric Blaha has one goal this season.
"My only goal is to help the team win," said the senior forward for the Verndale Pirates basketball team.
"I didn't set any personal goals like points or rebound numbers," he added.
Her smile was as big as her score Tuesday night at Brainerd High School.
Senior co-captain Mikayla Cerney walked off the floor exercise routine platform smiling from ear to ear. And that was before her second-place 9.175 was displayed.
Nine players who helped the Brainerd Warriors to the Class 5A state final highlight this year's Brainerd Dispatch All-Area Team.
Perennial state tournament participant Pierz landed three players, while Aitkin and Pequot Lakes each landed two.
"It's not a sprint, it's a marathon" should be the motto of the Brainerd Warriors this season.
Youth, varsity inexperience and lower than normal numbers will have Brainerd playing the underdog role for most of this season.