CG-Belgium girls start hoops season hot


THE CEDAR GROVE-BELGIUM High School girls’ basketball team includes (front row, from left) Grace Konzak, Aubrey Marti, Alexis Bahr, Oliveah Kurth, (back row) Tara Schmitz, Olivia Bahr, Sophie Beightol, Elena Engevold, Katelyn Morris and Natalie Hopeman, and the three below. Above photo by Sam Arendt

 

By MITCH MAERSCH

Ozaukee Press staff

Those who don’t remember what Cedar Grove-Belgium High School girls’ basketball looked like last year can easily have their memories jogged.

This year’s Rockets are much the same.

“We’ve got everybody back,” coach Mike “Bik” Bikman said.

Senior Alexis Bahr is one of the leading  returners after earning Big East Conference honorable mention last season. She averaged 11.4 points per game — 10th in the league ­— was second on the team in rebounding with 5.6 per game, and had 1.4 steals per game.

She won’t be carrying the offensive load alone. Several other Rockets have already stepped up to contribute points. Sophomore forward Olivia Bahr, Alexis’ sister, is starting, along with point guard Sophie Beightol, forward Tara Schmitz, who Bik calls “our little big,” and shooting guard Katelyn Morris.

The lineup isn’t written in stone. Bik said junior guard Grace Konzak and sophomore guard Aubrey Marti are battling Beightol for minutes off the bench.

“Grace and Aubrey are giving her a run for her money,” Bik said.

Senior forward Natalie Hopeman, who with Olivia Bahr is the tallest Rocket at 5 feet, 10 inches, also doesn’t start but is in the rotation.

“They’re finding out their roles on the team. It’s turned into a little competition, which is nice,” Bik said.

Senior guard Oliveah Kurth, he said, knows her role.

“Just to be at those practices and make those girls better. That’s what she’s about,” he said.

The handful of seniors who graduated didn’t see much playing time last season.

Bik said he likes this team’s balance.

“Our opponent is going to say, ‘Hey, we’ve got to stop Alexis Bahr.’ But how are they going to stop Tara and Katelyn? Olivia hustles. She’s a nice athlete,” he said.

“I’ve noticed in the four games that if one girl isn’t on, somebody else is. That’s another really nice thing to have.”

The relatively short team looks to press opponents and get out and score in transition.

“We’re really been working on that,” Bik said.

The team is already starting to gel.

“They’re getting along. They’re communicating a lot better. They’re having fun,” Bik said. “I get the goose bumps just talking about it.”

While the players are mostly the same, the Rockets’ record may look vastly different by the end of the season. Cedar Grove-Belgium won its first four games and is already halfway to last year’s win total.

One of the team’s goals, Bik said, is to double its eight victories. The Rockets finished 8-17 overall and 5-14 in the Big East, good for fifth of seven teams in the South Division.

This season, Bik hopes the Rockets can be ranked among the league leaders. He expects defending champ Oostburg (17-2) and second-place Sheboygan Lutheran (16-3) to again be tough.

The team has established several small goals, such as committing fewer than 17 turnovers per game, which they’ve accomplished in their first four games.

After beating Campbellsport, 68-26, at home on Nov. 15, the Rockets beat Big East foe Sheboygan Christian, 51-33, on Nov. 22.

Schmitz had 13 points, Olivia Bahr had 10 and Alexis Bahr had eight. Konzak, Morris and Beightol each had five.

In a tournament at Denmark last Friday and Saturday, the Rockets beat Two Rivers, 88-51, and Southern Door, 60-55.

Against Two Rivers, Konzak had 19 points, Alexis Bahr had 16, Morris had 13, Olivia Bahr had 11, Hopeman had 10 and Beightol had seven.

Against Southern Door, Konzak had 19 points, Alexis Bahr had 16, Morris had 13, Olivia Bahr had 11, Hopeman had 10, Schmitz had eight and Beightol had seven.

Bik said he loves the support the team has received so far, with a number of fans at Denmark, including members of the boys’ basketball team.

“I can’t tell you the last time CG-B was 4-0. It just brings people out,” he said. “I’m very happy for the kids, but they’ve got to work hard, and I’m seeing that.”

The Rockets host Random Lake on Thursday, Dec. 1. They split the season series last year, but the Rockets beat the Rams on the road in the playoffs. The Rockets host Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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