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WINTER SPORTS 2017: PAGE 7A PRESS & DAKOTAN n PLAIN TALK The Wynot players hold up the 2017 Lewis & Clark Conference Tournament trophy after they beat Ponca in the conference championship game. The Blue Devils are accustomed to finishing their seasons in big games, having played for the Class D2 title in eight straight seasons. Wynot Turns Dynasty Over To Next Wave Blue Devils Have Played For D2 Title In Eight Straight Seaons BY JEREMY HOECK jeremy.hoeck@yankton.net WYNOT, Neb. — It wasn’t long (days maybe) after last year’s state tournament that the players on the Wynot girls’ basketball team hit the court to begin work on this season. The memory of a state championship loss fresh in their minds, the Blue Devils looked forward. “It has been fun watching them improve at the individual level,” head coach Steve Wieseler said. “Now if we can put it all together at the team level, it will be exciting to see.” That will be the key for a Wynot program that has reached eight consecutive Nebraska state championship games. Gone is a senior class that won 91 games and two state titles during their careers. The reins are now turned over to a new wave — just like four years ago when a group of freshmen eventually kept the train rolling. “We have some very hard-working younger kids that will have to fill their roles,” Wieseler said. “The good thing is, they’re capable of it if they work hard and progress.” It certainly doesn’t hurt that the Blue Devils return their starting point guard (senior Maddy Gartner, 5 ppg, 3 rpg) and starting center (senior Julia Eskens, 5 ppg, 8 rpg), which are two key spots to build around, Wieseler said. From there, though, the Blue Devils will rely on sophomores who gained plenty of varsity experience as freshmen. That group includes Shaelee Planer (4 ppg, 4 rpg), Michaela Lange 2010........................2nd (3 ppg, 3 2011................. Champs rpg), Kaitlyn Heimes (1 2012................. Champs ppg, 1 rpg), Katelyn 2013................. Champs Heine (4 2014................. Champs ppg, 1 rpg), Whitney 2015........................2nd Hochstein (1 2016................. Champs ppg, 1 rpg) and Noelle 2017........................2nd Wieseler (1 ppg, 1 rpg). Wynot will also have junior Dharian Ahrens and sophomore Emma Greninger, along with senior newcomer Emma Haberman. “We are also a very deep team this year,” coach Wieseler said. “I believe we have a lot of girls all at the same level, so we should be able to play a lot of girls.” Eskens, in particular, figures to take on a larger role this season. “She will definitely be a great leader for us,” coach Wieseler said. “She played a lot of basketball this summer and has really gained the confidence it takes to be a great player.” The Blue Devils will also welcome freshmen Emersyn Sudbeck, Autumn Lawson and Edyn Sudbeck to the varsity roster. Wynot may not enter the season with the kind of big-game experience that last year’s team had, but progression will be the key, according to coach Wieseler. “It is hard to replace experience, so hopefully throughout the year we will learn from our mistakes and continue to improve as the year goes on,” he said. WYNOT Follow @jhoeck on Twitter Julia Eskens, 33, is one of two returning starters for Wynot, which has played for the Class D2 girls’ basketball title in eight consecutive seasons. The senior averaged five points and eight rebounds a game last season for the Blue Devils, who lost in the championship game in 2016-17. Neb. Girls FROM PAGE 6A (Fr., 5-6, G/F), Cassie Altwine (Fr., 5-5, G), Allie Dahl (Fr., 5-7, F), Anastacia Suing (Fr., 5-4, G/F). Hartington Cedar Catholic COACH: Craig Wortmann ASSISTANTS: Erin Schroeder, Haley Becker VITALS: Class C2, Mid-States Conference LAST SEASON: The Trojans saw their season come to an end in the first round of sub-districts RETURNING: Anna Reifenrath (Sr., 6-1, G), Mallorie Steffen (Sr., 5-11, F), Ashley Hamilton (Sr., 5-7, G), Jada Cattau (Jr., 5-10, G), Maddie Wieseler (Jr., 5-10, F), Sydney Steffen (Sr., 5-7, G), Madie Arens (Sr., 5-10, F), Briana Miller (Jr., 5-11, F), Abby Hochstein (So., 5-9, G). Hartington-Newcastle COACH: Marcus Messersmith ASSISTANTS: Josh Morten, Molly Ladwig VITALS: Class C2, Lewis & Clark Conference LAST SEASON: The Wildcats finished 14-7 RETURNING: Allie Rosener (Sr., 5-5, PG, 5 ppg, 3 spg), Karli McCain (Sr., 5-7, G/F, 3 ppg), Belle Harms (Jr., 6-1, C, 8 ppg), Ellie Stencel (Jr., 5-5, G), Liby Lange (Jr., 5-5, G), Willa Scoville (Jr., 5-6, G, 12 ppg), Evvie Krie (Jr., 5-7, F), Abbe Morten (So., 5-8, G). NEWCOMER: Kayden Jueden (Fr., 5-9, C). NEB. GIRLS | PAGE 8A Junior Lorna Maxon, 24, was an honorable-mention all-Lewis & Clark Conference pick for Laurel-Concord-Coleridge last season. ??????????û??????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????????? M???????????cc????????????? ????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????
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