ALL-CENTRAL LAKESHORE basketball honors were earned by (from left) Cedar Grove-Belgium’s Abi von Heimburg and Steph Ruppel and Ozaukee’s Ashley Kesselring. Photos by Sam Arendt
Coaches single out CG-B’s von Heimburg and Ruppel, Ozaukee’s Kesselring
Steady veteran leadership paved the way for the Cedar Grove-Belgium girls’ basketball team to have one of its best finishes in recent memory this season.
Not surprisingly, the Rockets’ top two senior players earned high honors in All-Central Lakeshore Conference recognition.
Abi von Heimburg, who led Cedar Grove-Belgium in scoring and rebounding, was a unanimous first-team selection in the coaches’ voting, and Steph Ruppel was named to the second team.
Among other local players, Ozaukee senior Ashley Kesselring also received second-team honors.
Von Heimburg was named to the first team for the second straight season, this time as one of four unanimous selections. She led the Rockets by averaging 13.8 points per CLC game, third best in the league.
A 5-foot-9-inch forward, von Heimburg also averaged a conference-best 7.3 rebounds, 2.3 steals, 2.2 assists and 1.8 blocks. She shot 47% from the field.
“Abi just had an outstanding year. She did everything well for us,” said Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Josh Ketterhagen, whose team finished third in the conference with a 13-5 record and was 17-7 overall.
A four-year varsity player, von Heimburg topped the 1,000-point mark for her career. She showed her versatility by combining strong front-line play with outside shooting ability.
“Abi was a numbers cruncher,” Ketterhagen said. “Whenever we needed a key basket or a rebound, she was usually the one to get it for us.
“She definitely will be missed.”
Ruppel, a 5-9 forward, emerged as a go-to-player for the Rockets after filling supporting roles in her two previous varsity seasons.
She averaged 9.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in conference games, shot 73% at the free-throw line and was one of Cedar Grove-Belgium’s top threats from three-point range.
“Steph really stepped up for us this year,” Ketterhagen said. “We knew we would need someone besides Abi to help carry the scoring load, and she did that.”
Kesselring emerged as the backcourt leader on a young Ozaukee team that went 6-12 in the league during a rebuilding season.
A 5-5 point guard, she averaged 9.7 points in CLC play and shot 71% at the free-throw line. She led the Warriors in scoring and assists.
“Ashley had a very strong second half of the season,” Ozaukee coach Lee LeMahieu said. “She shot better from the perimeter and did a good job of getting to the free-throw line.
“We improved during the season, and a big reason for that was Ashley’s play at point guard.”
The other players who were unanimous first-team selections in the coaches’ voting were Alexis Lindstrom of Howards Grove, Maddie Landgraf of Elkhart Lake and Allie Paluchniak of champion Oostburg.
Rounding out the top team were Oostburg’s Allie VanStelle and Sheboygan Lutheran’s Ashley Steele.