NORFOLK, Neb. -- “We got to keep pushing,” said Norfolk girls basketball head coach Ben Ries.

It hasn’t been the season the Norfolk girls basketball team had hoped for but Ries is staying optimistic.

“Our team has been spot on with their attitude and effort,” Ries said. “That really makes coming to practice enjoyable. It allows our team to continue to grow and improve.”

Going into Friday’s matchup against Grand Island, who is another team that has had a bumpy season, the Panthers are preparing to possibly win their second game on the season.

Despite all the ups and downs, Ries said the players have handled adversity the right way.

“I think they’ve been fantastic,” Ries said. “Our biggest mission with our players is been being positive and keeping a growth mindset and continue to find ways to improve and develop.”

Some of the players would agree.

“I would say we’ve grown a lot,” Abigail Ruda said. “We handle adversity well. We’ve had some tough teams [and] really good athletes but we’ve just tried our best and put as many points on the board [and] be aggressive as we can.”

“We’re pushing through it,” Cameryn Skiff said. “It hasn’t been the season you always want a season to go looking at our games and everything but our team is going hard a practices, we’re competing [and] we’re doing what we can do to make it the best season.”

On Friday, Ries added he believes his team can win but they’re going to have to do a couple of things to make that happen.

“Taking care of the basketball is number one,” Ries said. “I think the second thing is to try to create some tempo and some pace."

In the near future, Ries said he believes the program has all the right elements to turn things around.

“Absolutely,” Ries said. “If we keep coming to practice with the attitudes and effort that we’ve seen, we can find ways to get better.”