New Richland - The four seniors from the defending state champion N.R.H.E.G. girls basketball team comment about the big crowds and big brothers and little sisters.

The Panthers begin defense of their 2013 state AA title Wednesday at 2:00 at Mariucci Arena at the University of MN. Listen to KRFO AM 1390 or NRHEG will face Pequot Lakes in the quarterfinals. See the full schedule.

The four seniors spoke with KRFO's Roy Koenig on Monday. Hannah Lundberg, Paige Overgaard, Jade Schultz and Carlie Wagner addressed several topics:

Memories from last season's state championship season.

The family connections that all of them have within NRHEG basketball.

Teamwork and being ready for this year's tournament.

Their plans after high school.

Coach John Schultz has this preview of the tournament.

The Panthers beat the Patriots in the third place game at state two seasons ago. While NRHEG has several of those players still with the team, Pequot Lakes is virtually a different team.

The following is part of a news release from the NRHEG administration:

The girls will be heading up to the cities on Tuesday afternoon so we are having a pepfest for the team at 12:30pm on Tuesday, March 18th in the High School Gym.  The public is welcome to join us!  Gym doors will open at 12:00pm.

Pre-sale tickets will be available at the NRHEG High School from 8:00am to 4:00pm on Monday and Tuesday of this week.  Tickets will only be sold at the NRHEG High School.  The cost for those tickets is $14 for Adults and $9 for students.  Tickets can also be purchased at Mariucci Arena the day of the game.  There will not be pre-sale tickets for any other games should the girls advance.

The school is also offering fan buses to any students in grades 6-12.  The cost to ride the fan bus to and from the game is $3.  Fan buses will leave the New Richland High School at 10:30am and the Ellendale Elementary School at 10:45am on Wednesday.  Please meet the buses in the front of each school.