|Success, setbacks define Lady Broncos in 2010-11|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 10 March 2011 19:29|
By Josh Sumner
The Wauneta Breeze
A retrospective look at this year’s Wauneta-Palisade girls basketball team reveals celebrations sandwiched between sorrow in a season that was never short on story lines.
The high points were easily recognizable. The win over Hitchcock County in the subdistrict final stands out. Taking the championship in the Brady Holiday Tournament was a memorable moment.
But there was also the 0-4 start.
There was the second half collapse at home against Sutherland.
Lady Bronco Head Coach Roger Lauhead, crouched at center, takes a timeout to discuss strategy during WP’s game at Perkins County. The Lady Broncs won the game 51-44. (Wauneta Breeze Photos | Josh Sumner)
And lastly, there was the moment no Lady Bronco fan will soon forget when the season came to an abrupt end at the hands of a district-deciding Brady buzzer beater.
Regardless of which moment sticks out most, it was an exciting season for basketball fans and a bonding experience for the girls that took the court together every night.
In fact, Head Coach Roger Lauhead would tell you it’s the positive attitude that his players kept that defined the 2010-11 Lady Broncos.
“Even when we were 0-4, the players stayed positive,” said Lauhead. “After disappointing losses in close games, the team came back and practiced hard.”
As the veteran coach looks to the future, he said he knows he has a challenge ahead of him. A tight-knit group consisting of five seniors will be a chore to replace. Jenae Bischoff, Shelby Hamilton, Bethany Riener, Laura Rundback and Rebecca Strand combined to take on 65 percent of the team’s scoring load this season.
WP junior Sheyla Christner, at left, gets fired up with teammates at the beginning of the district championship game. Christner will return next season as one of the Lady Broncos’ top scoring threats.
However, Lauhead said he thinks his young personnel is talented enough to get the job done.
“The young players will just have to come up and play,” said Lauhead.
Lauhead said he expects big things out of next year’s top returning scorer, Sheyla Christner. Fellow junior Jonee Maris and sophomore Emma Skelton will also be called on.
But it’s this season’s crop of talented freshmen that could ultimately serve as the barometer for future Lady Bronco success.
The fab four, consisting of Abbie Fanning, Tailor Lee, Brooklyn Nordhausen and Cassidy Rathe, bring speed, size and a combined 8.8 points-per-game average back next season.
Still, losing 32.3 points-per-game from the set of graduating seniors creates true challenges for next year’s team. Over half that amount was contributed by team leader Bethany Riener, who will be the toughest Lady Bronco to replace of all.
Riener led the team in scoring (16.5 points-per-game), rebounds (149), assists (93), steals (117), free throw shooting (80.3 percent) and 3-point shooting (38.5 percent).
Bethany Riener moves with the basketball during WP’s final game of the season against Brady. Riener led the team with 16.5 points-per-game this season, and will continue her on-court career next year at Hastings College.
“It’s always surprising when one player ends up leading in almost every statistical category,” said Lauhead. “She put everything she had into it all the time — she didn’t like losing.”
Riener also graduates with four school records: most 3-pointers in a single game (8), most 3-pointers in a season (50), most 3-pointers in a career (155) and most consecutive free-throws made (30). She takes her sharp shooting and basketball savvy to the hardwoods of Hastings College next year.
As for those sticking around, Lauhead said he hopes his players stay sharp over the summer through attending basketball camps and working on their shot everyday.
He also had one last comment about his group of 2010-11 Lady Broncs:
“They’re all friendly and seem to have a good time wherever they go. I thought they backed each other and supported each other better than most groups I’ve seen.”
|Last Updated on Thursday, 10 March 2011 19:34|