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Southern Lakes is a balancing act

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THOMAS J. MILLER
December 9, 2007

SOUTHERN LAKES AT A GLANCE


2006-07 Standings


League Season


W L W L


Jefferson 12 0 22 2


Elkhorn 10 2 19 4


Milton 7 5 17 7


Whitewater 5 7 13 8


Delavan-Darien 5 7 11 11


East Troy 3 9 9 14


Fort Atkinson 0 12 0 21


All-Conference


FIRST TEAM


Hgt. Yr.


Lin Zastrow, Jefferson 6-4 Sr.


Markie Schmidt, Elkhorn 6-0 Sr.


Kassi Blumer, Milton 5-11 Sr.


Kayla Chapman, East Troy 5-8 Sr.


Liz Amici, Whitewater 6-0 Sr.


SECOND TEAM


Beth Ganser, Jefferson 5-9 So.


Becky Roberts, Elkhorn 5-7 Sr.


Kelly Supernaw, Delavan-Darien 5-10 Jr.


Megan Theune, Whitewater 5-9 Jr.


Tasha Randall, Milton 5-9 Jr.


Player of the Year—Lin Zastrow, Jefferson.


HONORABLE MENTION


Delavan-Darien—Hannah Zugay, jr.; Bethany Nieuwenhuis, sr. East Troy—Shae Beckwith, sr.; Katie Condon, sr. Elkhorn—Micaela McDonald, jr.; Morgan Reeves, sr. Fort Atkinson—Taylor Kelleher, jr.; Mary Hable, sr.


Jefferson—Amber Hemp, sr.; Marta Kinsman, jr. Milton—Emily Arnold, jr.; April Mielke, jr. Whitewater—Leah Harms, jr.; Leanne Ehlen, sr.


Despite the loss of some exceptional graduates, the Southern Lakes Conference girls basketball race might be more competitive than ever.


Delavan-Darien, Elkhorn, Milton and defending champion Jefferson all are considered prime contenders for the title.


Jefferson swept through the 12-game conference schedule without a loss last year, led by Lin Zastrow. The Associated Press and Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Year, who averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds last season, is now is part of the University of Wisconsin basketball team.


Jefferson, however, isn’t the only one feeling the graduation of talented players.


Elkhorn lost forward Markie Schmidt (19.0 points, 14.8 rebounds per game), who is playing at Sacred Heart (Conn.) University.


Milton lost Milton’s Kassi Blumer, (19 points, 9.8 rebounds), who helped the Red Hawks to a state tournament berth, and went to St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind.


Another talented player that left the conference was East Troy’s Kayla Chapman. Chapman earned honorable mention all-state recognition, averaging 21.9 points 6.5 rebounds per contest.


The loss of those star players leaves the conference with no clear favorite this season.


“It won’t be of who has the best individual, but who can play as a group,” said Elkhorn coach Jim Henriott.


“When you had Zastrow, Schmidt, Chapman and Blumer, you knew you were going to get 15 to 20 points a night. You’re not going to see a lot of high-scoring games this year, except maybe out of Delavan-Darien.”


And after averaging 64 points a game, including a high of 75, in surging to a 4-0 start in nonconference play, the Comets clearly have everyone’s attention as a likely to team to join the traditional contenders.


Overall, things look like this:


DELAVAN-DARIEN


Head coach: Keiya Square, second year.


2006-07 record: 11-11, 5-7 in Southern Lakes (tied for fourth).


Last conference title: 1984-85 (Southern Lakes West)


Key losses: Bethany Nieuwenhuis, Kari Busch, .


Returning starters: Kelly Supernaw, 5-11, sr., uard/forward; Hannah Nieuwenhuis, 5-8,sr. guard; Hannah Zugay, 5-3, sr. guard; Jessamy Dahlberg, 5-7 sr. guard.


Other letter winners: Kaylin Bauer, 5-6, sr., guard; Karli Collins, 5-11, jr., forward; Mallory Epping, 6-1, jr. guard; Courtney Flood, 5-6, soph., guard; Emily Polster, 5-7, sr., guard.


Other likely contributors: Alana Cesarz, 6-2, fr., forward; Ashley Dahl, 5-9, jr.. forward.


Season outlook: Supernaw has lived up to her billing as the conference’s top player, including a 25-point performance Saturday in a nonconference win at Wilmot.


“I like Delavan-Darien,” Elkhorn coach Jim Henriott said. “They have the best individual in Supernaw. “She can take you off the dribble and is strong enough to take you inside.”


Square said Supernaw spent her summer in the gym, working on what already was an above-average game.


“She’s really stepped up her game,” Square said. “That’s saying a lot considering what she did last year. She’s taken over a leadership role. She’s going to basket and can shoot from the outside.”


Besides Supernaw, the Comets return six players who averaged at least two points last season.


Cesarz, a 6-2 freshman, needs experience, but she already has posed a scoring threat.


“She can knock it down from 15 feet if she’s left open,” Square said. “I think by the end of the season, she’ll be shooting 85 percent from the line. Right now she’s basically running around, not knowing what to do.”


With quality players in Nieuwenhuis, Dahlberg, Epping and Collins, and the sophomore Flood at guard, the Comets have plenty of talent, and have shown a willingness to play defense.


“I’d say 80 percent of our points have come off our defense,” Square said.


EAST TROY


Head coach: Stacey Kuehn, second year.


2006-07 record: 7-14, 3-9 in Southern Lakes (sixth place).


Last conference title: 1980-81 (Southern Lakes West).


Key losses: Kayla Chapman, Shae Beckwith.


Returning starter: Kara Haines, 5-7, sr., guard (191 points, 112 rebounds).


Other letter winners: Amber O’Connell, 5-8, sr., forward; Jacey Verick, 5-8, senior forward.


Other likely contributors: Meghan Valentine, 5-10, fr., forward; Alyssa Duncan, 5-10, jr., forward.


Season outlook: The Trojans are undergoing almost a complete makeover.


“Our motto this year is ‘change is a must,’” Kuehn says. “With two new coaches in the program, new players and new game strategies, we are looking to develop as a team.”


ELKHORN


Head coach: Jim Henriott, 13th year (208-72).


2006-07 record: 19-4 overall, 10-2 in Southern Lakes (second place).


Last conference title: 2005-2006.


Key losses: Markie Schmidt, Becky Roberts.


Returning starters: Micaela McDonald, 6-1, sr. (8 ppg., 10 rpg).


Other letter winners: Emily Johnson, 5-10, sr., forward; Kora Plucinski, 5-7, sr., guard; Alex Rodgers, 5-6, sr., guard; Ashley Kelnhofer, 5-4, sr., guard; Liza Maney, 5-9, sr., center; Melissa Zwiebel, 5-6, sr., guard; Ashlynn Anderson, 6-0, sr., center.


Other likely contributors: Carly Larsen, 5-3, soph., guard; Kasey Reeves, 5-7, junior, guard; MacKenzie May, 5-9, jr., center.


Season outlook: When Johnson and May return to full strength from knee injuries, the Elks will have an impressive front line, along with McDonald and Anderson.


Johnson saw extensive playing time as a sophomore on a team that won its first 22 games, but then she suffered a knee injury the following summer. She has undergone two surgeries, missed all of last season and just got medical clearance to play last week. May tore her ACL in August and will miss the first half of the season.


“They’re going to have three solid 6-footers inside,” said Delavan-Darien coach Keiya Square.


Sophomore Carly Larsen will start at point guard.


“Although I would like her a little bit taller, she has good court awareness,” Henriott said. “She can get to the basket.”


FORT ATKINSON


Head coach: Jim Nyman, first year.


2006-07 record: 0-21 overall, 0-12 in Southern Lakes (seventh place).


Last conference title: 2001-02.


Key losses: None.


Returning starters: Morgan Wendlandt, 5-7, sr., guard (13.9 ppg); Taylor Kelleher, 5-5, sr. guard (5 ppg); Hannah Bare, 5-8 , sr., forward (5 ppg).


Other letter winners: Naydene Belstner, 5-11, sr., center.


Other likely contributors: Rachel Veenyhuis, 5-5, sr., guard; Ralissa Nelson, 5-10, jr., forward; Dani Meyerhofer, 5-6, jr., forward; Jessica Truman, 5-8, jr., forward; Emily Lentz, 5-8, jr., forward.


Season outlook: The outlook is much brighter than it was last year since the Blackhawks (1-1) already surpassed their victory output of that 0-21 season.


Coach Jim Nyman took over the girls program after a successful stint as the boys basketball coach at Orfordville Parkview. Nyman and the Blackhawks won their first game, 55-40 over Stoughton, last Tuesday.


Morgan Wendlandt, a three-time letter winner, is expected to lead Fort. The 5-7 senior guard averaged 13.5 points a game last season. She had 23 points in the victory over Stoughton.


Ralissa Nelson, who was an All-Rock Valley Conference selection last season while at Parkview, transferred to Fort. The 5-10 junior forward had 10 points in the Blackhawks’ opening win.


“Our goal is to win a few games to get away from the past season’s failures,” Nyman said.


JEFFERSON


Coach: Dena Smith, seventh year (104-37), won WIAA Division II state title in 2004-05.


2006-07 record: 22-2 overall, 12-0 in Southern Lakes (champion).


Key losses: Lin Zastrow, Associated Press state Player of the Year.


Returning starters: Marta Kinsman, 5-6 sr., guard (6.5 ppg); Beth Ganser, 5-9. jr., guard (6.8 ppg, 3 assists).


Other letter winners: Krista Lehman, 5-2, sr., guard; Bailey Hutchinson, 5-6, sr., guard; Lauren Renz, 5-5, sr., guard.


Other likely contributor: Jessica Splittgerber, 5-5, soph., guard.


Season outlook: Despite the loss of Zastrow, who is playing at the University of Wisconsin, the Eagles (2-1) could contend with Kinsman and Ganser.


“We always hope to contend for a conference title,” Smith said. “We have two starters returning, (but we have) only two more players with significant playing time, so things are unknown right now.”


Kinsman showed her offensive ability when she scored 34 points against Cambridge last week, but the Eagles managed only 12 other points in a 51-46 loss. Kinsman also scored 21 points in a 57-49 win over McFarland.


MILTON


Coach: Scott Randall, second year (17-7).


2006-07 record: 17-7 overall (lost in WIAA Division 1 state quarterfinals); 7-5 in Southern Lakes (third place).


Last conference title: 1998-99.


Key losses: Kassi Blumer, Shalina Stewart, Ellyn Hansen, Ericka Bue.


Returning starters: Tasha Randall, 5-8, sr., forward (10.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 33 assists, 31 steals); April Mielke, 5-11, sr., forward (8.6 ppg., 4.0 rpg, 24 assists, 26 steals); Katie Groeschl, 5-7, sr., forward (3.7 ppg., 58 rebounds, 16 assists, 13 steals).


Other letter winners: Emily Arnold, 5-3, sr., guard (3.3 ppg., 84 rebounds, 21 assists, 28 steals); Jennifer Lewis, 5-3, sr., guard; Jessica Roach, 5-10, jr., forward.


Other likely contributors: Liz Eide, 6-2, fr. center.


Season outlook: Milton should be in the thick of the race, despite the heavy graduation toll from a team that produced the school’s firsr trip to the state tournament since 1992.


“Milton is the favorite because they have a lot of depth,” said Whitewater coach Judy Harms.


With that depth comes many floor burns.


“All these kids bring intensity,” coach Randall said. “They have the desire to get back (to the state tournament). Our practices are intense.”


Tasha Randall, the coach’s daughter, is the center of that intensity.


“She just works really hard,” her father said.


The team will be without Arnold for an undetermined amount of time due to mononucleosis. Eide will need experience, but the coaches are pleased with her early-season play.


WHITEWATER


Coach: Judy Harms, ninth year.


2006-07 record: 13-8 overall, 5-7 in Southern Lakes (tied for fourth).


Last conference title: 1982-83 (Southern Lakes West co-champ with Delavan-Darien).


Key losses: Liz Amici.


Returning starters: Leah Harms, 5-6, sr., guard (8.7 ppg., 52 rebounds, 63 assists, 62 steals); Megan Theune (9.3 ppg., 71 rebounds, 27 assists, 25 steals).


Other letter winners: Chelsea Heil, sr., guard (96 points, 49 rebounds, 22 assists, 38 steals); Sara Levine, sr., guard (7 points, 22 rebounds, 13 steals).


Other likely contributors: Kelsey Harms, soph., guard; Courtney Trewyn, jr., guard; Megan Peterson, jr., guard; Natalie Babcock, jr., forward; Natalie Tisdale, sr., forward.


Season outlook: Judy Harms has a treat this season of coaching two daughters—senior Leah and sophomore Kelsey.


Leah and Megan Theune have started all four seasons, giving the Whippets a solid nucleus. Leah provides leadership at point guard, while Theune can score from both the inside and outside.


Heil and Levine also were solid contributors last year.


“We have a strong backcourt and will still be scrappy on ‘D,’” Judy Harms said. “We’re still capable of being explosive on offense.”


SOUTHERN LAKES GIRLS SCHEDULE


TUESDAY, NOV. 20


Walworth Big Foot def. East Troy, 58-49; Whitewater def. Edgerton, 46-43; Delavan-Darien def. Evansville, 60-32; Elkhorn def. Monroe, 41-39 (OT); Jefferson def. Lakeside Lutheran, 58-51.


TUESDAY, NOV. 27


Whitewater def. Beloit Turner, 63-19; Delavan-Darien def. Lake Geneva Badger, 55-41; East Troy def. Williams Bay, 36-29; Fort Atkinson def. Stoughton, 55-40; Cambridge def. Jefferson, 51-46; Monroe def. Milton, 50-45.


THURSDAY, NOV. 29


Delavan-Darien def. Edgerton, 75-28; Whitewater def. Orfordville Parkview, 50-44; Union Grove def. Elkhorn, 40-34; Jefferson def. McFarland, 57-49; Shoreland Lutheran def. East Troy, 57-39.


FRIDAY, NOV. 30


Watertown def. Fort Atkinson, 46-35.


SATURDAY, DEC. 1


Delavan-Darien def. Wilmot, 66-52.


TUESDAY, DEC. 4.


Elkhorn at Fort Atkinson, 56-35; Milton def. Milwaukee Washington, 79-42 (NC); Jefferson def. Lake Mills, 46-41, OT (NC).


FRIDAY, DEC. 7


Whitewater def. Milton, 57-37; Fort Atkinson at East Troy, 46-31; Elkhorn def. Jefferson, 52-42; Delavan-Darien def. Westosha Central, 50-26 (NC).


TUESDAY, DEC. 11


Edgerton at Fort Atkinson (NC), Wilmot at East Troy (NC).


THURSDAY, DEC. 13


Fort Atkinson at Jefferson, Milton at Elkhorn, East Troy at Delavan-Darien.


FRIDAY, DEC. 14


Cambridge at Whitewater (NC).


TUESDAY, DEC. 18


Whitewater at Fort Atkinson, Delavan-Darien at Milton, Jefferson at East Troy.


THURSDAY, DEC. 20


Lake Geneva Badger Elkhorn (NC), Beloit Turner at Delavan-Darien (NC).


FRIDAY, DEC. 21


Madison Memorial at Milton (NC), Evansville at Jefferson (NC).


THURSDAY, DEC. 27


Evansville tournament (Whitewater vs. Gillett, Evansville vs. Hiawatha, Ill.); Fort Atkinson tournament (Barneveld vs. Fort Atkinson); Walworth Big Foot at Delavan-Darien (NC).


FRIDAY, DEC. 28


Whitewater at Evansville tournament finals; Fort Atkinson tournament finals; Richland Center tournament (Elkhorn vs. La Crosse Central, Burlington vs. Richland Center).


SATURDAY, DEC. 29


Elkhorn at Richland Center tournament finals.


FRIDAY, JAN. 4


Whitewater at Jefferson, Fort Atkinson at Delavan-Darien;, Elkhorn at East Troy,; Milton at Evansville (NC).


TUESDAY, JAN. 8


Palmyra-Eagle at Whitewater (NC), Fort Atkinson at Lake Mills (NC), Milton at Mukwonago (NC), Union Grove at East Troy (NC).


THURSDAY, JAN. 10


Whitewater at East Troy, Delavan-Darien at Elkhorn, Milton at Jefferson.


MONDAY, JAN. 14


Whitewater at Elkhorn.


TUESDAY, JAN. 15


Milton at Fort Atkinson,Delavan-Darien at Jefferson.


FRIDAY, JAN. 18


Jefferson at Fort Atkinson, Elkhorn at Milton, Delavan-Darien at East Troy.


SATURDAY, JAN. 19


Whitewater at Walworth Big Foot (NC).


TUESDAY, JAN. 22


Fort Atkinson at McFarland (NC), Oregon at Jefferson (NC), East Troy at Westosha Central (NC).


THURSDAY, JAN. 24


Fort Atkinson at Whitewater, Milton at Delavan-Darien, East Troy at Jefferson.


SATURDAY, JAN. 26


Elkhorn at Wilmot (NC), East Troy at Lake Geneva Badger (NC).


TUESDAY, JAN. 29


Elkhorn at Whitewater, Fort Atkinson at Milton, Jefferson at Delavan-Darien.


THURSDAY, FEB. 1


Jefferson at Whitewater, Delavan-Darien at Fort Atkinson, East Troy at Elkhorn, Madison East at Milton (NC).


FRIDAY, FEB. 2


Pewaukee at Elkhorn (NC).


MONDAY, FEB. 4


East Troy at Brodhead (NC).


TUESDAY, FEB. 5


Milton at Lake Geneva Badger (NC), Jefferson at Westosha Central (NC).


THURDAY, FEB. 7


Whitewater at Delavan-Darien, Fort Atkinson at Elkhorn, Milton at East Troy.


TUESDAY, FEB. 12


Whitewater at Milton, East Troy at Fort Atkinson, Elkhorn at Jefferson, Delavan-Darien at Beloit Memorial (NC).


FRIDAY, FEB. 15


Whitewater at East Troy, Elkhorn at Delavan-Darien, Jefferson at Milton.


MONDAY, FEB. 18


Lakeside Lutheran at Milton (NC), Jefferson at Columbus (NC).


TUESDAY, FEB. 19


Brodhead at Fort Atkinson (NC).


THURSDAY, FEB. 21


East Troy at Milton.


FRIDAY, FEB. 22


Delavan-Darien at Whitewater, Waterford at Elkhorn (NC).



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