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Youth movement to power Port girls PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 17:20

Pirates turn to enthusiasm, resilience to offset loss of last year’s talent, leadership

Guard play could rule the day for Port Washington girls’ basketball team this season.
The Pirates started the season with their tallest player at 5 feet, 10 inches in junior forward Kaytlin Kassens.
“She’s very athletic for her size,” Port coach Jakob Wahl said.
In addition to patrolling the post, “she’ll also be a decent player on the perimeter for us, too,” he added.
Port lost several of last season’s players to graduation, most notably standout Amanda Baierl.
Junior guard Lizzie Egan will run the point and get help from junior Katie Erlandson. Both stand 5-4. Senior guard/forward Madalyn Cook will also contribute.
“They’ve been playing really consistent over the past couple of games. I’m looking forward to how they progress,” Wahl said.
Egan and Erlandson are already developing chemistry. Last season, Egan averaged 5.1 points per game, fourth-best on the team, and Erlandson averaged 3.4.
LIZZIE EGAN LEXI HILGART MYA MASSE IMG 5627 (CR)“Our guard play is very good. They’re more comfortable in their second year of varsity basketball,” Wahl said.
The backcourt would have been even stronger, but senior Kate Lemkuil sustained an offseason knee injury and will miss the entire year.
Senior Joy Holzman missed the start of the season due to injury but is expected back this week. That will help create more depth on a team that can use it, given the Pirates are relying on quickness and hustle.
Cook will see some time in the low post, as will whoever happens to be there at any given time.
“A lot of the positions will be interchangeable with where they’re playing,” Wahl said.

Players step up for CG-Belgium PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 17:18

With top scorers gone, Rockets girls’ basketball team looks to mix of veterans and youth

Cedar Grove-Belgium’s girls’ basketball team had some holes to fill entering the season.
The Rockets’ top three scorers from last year graduated, including Melanie Obbink, Autumn Beutel and Faith Buechler. They led a team that went 9-14 last season and only lost to higher-ranked Oostburg, 47-37, in the first round of the playoffs.
“This year we do have a lot of new players stepping up,” coach Jason Jones said.
Junior Ellie Felsinger, who averaged 4.6 points per game last season, is back, along with senior Amanda Meerdink, who averaged 4.0 points per game and went 8-for-22 on three-pointers (36%).
“Amanda Meerdink, Brittany Teunissen, Alex Mentink, Ellie Felsinger along with many others will be looking to fill a lot of the spots that our seniors last year filled,” Jones said.
Sophomore guard/forward Amy TenHaken is also back, after scoring 11 points in two games last season.
s1011917501 4C“Our guards and post will have to step up this year.  Once again we will have to work as a team to become the best that we can be.”
The Rockets started the season 1-2, most recently losing at home to Mishicot on Nov. 21 in a game that was close for one half before turning into a blowout.
Down, 26-20, at the break, the Rockets only managed six points the rest of the way. Mishicot scored 31 to cruise to a 57-26 victory.
“Mishicot is a much improved team from last year. They still have a couple of nice players from last year with the addition of some very good underclassmen,” Jones said.
“The first half we were able to stick with them and we played pretty well offensively and defensively. The second half we could not get anything going on offense. Mishicot played good defense, but we also missed open shots that we normally would be able to make.”

Clean slate, new learning curve PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 16:45

With graduation putting a hit on last season’s roster, Grafton boys take the court green, hungry, hard-working

Grafton boys’ basketball coach Damon James didn’t have to look too far in determining who he needed to replace on this season’s roster.
After meeting the requirements for graduation, last year’s team, 13 of 14 members received diplomas and up and left.
“It’s like an NBA expansion roster,” James said.
“It’s all new. Every day is a teaching opportunity for our kids in practice. I wish we had more practice time early.”
James, in his second season as the Black Hawks’ head coach, at least knew the transition was on the horizon after last year’s seniors went 13-11 overall, 8-6 in the North Shore Conference.
BENZSCHAWEl s2112517115 (CR)“We knew this was coming after we had such a great group of kids last year. We knew the roster and what would take place this year,” he said.
At point guard, junior quarterback Brady Ward will split time with sophomore Alex Huibregtse.
“Both those kids played on junior varsity together. They’ve got a good chemistry,” James said.
At the other guard positions, James said he has “a slew of kids who are wings who will share a lot of that.”
In the mix are senior Ayden Edmundson, who joined the varsity roster last year but didn’t see any minutes, along with juniors Jaden Polack and Ben Wilkin, who both played on junior varsity last season, and freshman Bryson Claque.
At forward, 6-foot-7-inch freshman J.P. Benzschawel, whose two older brothers play for the undefeated Wisconsin Badgers football team, “will be playing a lot,” James said. Benzschawel is the tallest member of the team.
Others playing hard include junior Carson Bernd, and James likes the play of 6-5 foreign exchange student Tiago Manfrin from Brazil.

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