After summer season, girls’ hoops team ready for school season

The Waconia girls’ summer basketball team finished 18-9 overall, including a tournament win at North Dakota State University. The team includes, front row: Kelsey Eder, Miranda Schultz, Emily Anderson, Anna Schmitt, Brenna Rice, Kendall Eder, and Kahner Priess; middle row: Sam Laumann, Megan Kirsch, Sami Jones, Ally Fuller, Madelin Dammann, and Hallie Koppi; back row: coaches Dusty Neibauer and Carl Pierson, and Gabby Nordick.

The Waconia girls’ summer basketball team finished 18-9 overall, including a tournament win at North Dakota State University. The team includes, front row: Kelsey Eder, Miranda Schultz, Emily Anderson, Anna Schmitt, Brenna Rice, Kendall Eder, and Kahner Priess; middle row: Sam Laumann, Megan Kirsch, Sami Jones, Ally Fuller, Madelin Dammann, and Hallie Koppi; back row: coaches Dusty Neibauer and Carl Pierson, and Gabby Nordick.

After a successful summer season, the Waconia girls’ basketball team is already geared up for the winter season and ready to turn heads with a new strategy of play.

The Wildcats recently wrapped up a busy summer season that saw the squad play 27 games in just seven weeks. The ‘Cats finished 18-9 overall, which included a 6-4 record in the Chanhassen Summer League. The team also picked up a win over one of South Dakota’s top teams, as well as a 5-0 undefeated tournament victory at North Dakota State University.

Head coach Carl Pierson said he considers the summer season to be vital to the success of the WHS team in the winter.

“Every summer we have players stepping into new roles and the game experience that is gained proves invaluable when the winter season arrives,” he said.

This summer, Pierson introduced a radically different style of play to the Wildcats, which includes more points scored. During the seven-week summer season, the Wildcats score more than 80 points in 10 different games, including a 93-point performance.

“Our players really bought into a style of play that requires remarkable effort,” Pierson said. “That said, they were able to see the fruits of their labor via fun, high scoring games.”

Pierson said he was not only pleased with the success of the team this season, but also the commitment and dedication show by over 40 players in grades 7-12 who came out to practice twice a week at 7 a.m. He said this type of commitment cultivates championships.

“When you look at the perennially successful programs and the elite teams, the thing they all share in common is a group of players and parents that are deeply committed to improving and putting in the time in the offseason,” he said. “We had a demanding schedule and our players really rose to the challenge.”

The new “fun and gun” Wildcats, as Pierson calls them, relied on a deep bench this season that utilized many players in many games.

“Most teams plays seven or eight players for nearly the entire game. We are blessed to have a lot of quality kids and our new style of play really takes advantage of our depth and gives everyone a chance to impact the game.”

Pierson predicts that fans will be thoroughly entertained when they come out to a Wildcat game later this year.

“I’m not going to make predictions about wins and losses, but I will predict this much, fans will be abundantly entertained when they watch our team play. And I can predict one thing with some certainty, points. Lots and lots of points,” he said.

“Without exception, our players embraced their role and focused on the team rather than themselves. If that attitude can continue into the winter season, we will be poised to do some great things.”

Compiled by Melissa Marohl – melissa.marohl@ecm-inc.com

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