Winter sports have officially begun as of a few weeks ago. The Dallas Center-Grimes girls' basketball team has already played its first game, but the Mustangs are still preparing for theirs.

The Mustangs have been working hard for the last two weeks to prepare for their first regular-season game against Southeast Polk on Tuesday, Nov. 29.

"They're excited to play, especially the seniors," said DC-G coach Joel Rankin. "It's their turn, so they've had a really good off-season lifting weights, going to camps and they have worked on their skills."

The Mustangs only played the Rams once last season. The game went into overtime and the Rams won by three points (53-50). The seniors led the team last year, especially in this game with the exception of one returner.

The Mustangs only have one returning starter from last year, junior Steve Borneman. Borneman is a 6’2” guard for the Mustangs who averaged 7.4 points per game, was 35.9 percent from the three point line and was 66.1 percent on his free throws. He also had 37 assists, 36 steals, 23 blocks and averaged 4.7 rebounds a game.

During the game against the Rams, Borneman had three field goals and one free throw for a total of seven points. He also had the second most rebounds of the game with six total.

"We're improving every day," said Rankin. "I think this year with only one returning player from last year, I don't know if the expectations are ultra high, but the kids want to improve everyday and I've seen that already."

The Mustangs have stayed focused during the first couple weeks of practice. According to Rankin their main focuses so far have been on keeping the energy up, having fun and playing together as a team.

"If you set the foundation of doing things the right way, then later on it's going to solve a lot of problems. We definitely focus on playing as a team and a lot of hustle and doing things the right way, on and off the court."

Last season the Mustangs went 5-7 in the Little Hawkeye Conference and 11-11 on the season overall.

The Mustangs may not have as experienced of a team as they have in the past, but Rankin still has high hopes for them.

"My goal for this team is to get better everyday and take everyday as it comes and not look too far ahead," he said. "I think this team has a high ceiling and I think we will just keep improving and can become a very good, competitive team. We are in a conference that is lights-out this year, a lot of teams have a lot of players back, a lot of All-Staters, so it will be a challenge each and every night. So i just tell the kids to elevate your game and to elevate your attitude, and it's more about that than wins or losses."

The Mustangs will take on the Rams at the DC-G High School on Tuesday, Nov. 29 for their season opener at 7:45 p.m.