Area girls teams are shooting for a return trip to the State Tournament
HARTINGTON - The Lady Trojans prepare to take to the court on another quest for Lincoln.
The girls’ basketball team began practice two short days after finishing the volleyball season with a loss in the state championship game, and the girls are already a day away from opening the season by hosting Crofton on Thursday.
The 2017-18 Cedar team made it to the Class C2 state tournament in Lincoln last March as the eight seed. The Lady Trojans lost in the first round to top seed Hastings St. Cecilia 49-41.
“Heading into this season I think we all are on the same page of trying to get back to where we were,” said Cedar head coach Craig Wortmann. “We think we had a good chance of winning that game down there, competed really well, and we want to keep that momentum and keep pulling forward.”
Wortmann is in his second year as head coach at Cedar Catholic for the girls' basketball program. The program lost a core group of seniors to graduation last year.
“We had some really [good seniors]. Some good scorers, Anna Reifenrath would score a lot, Mallorie Steffen was another one. Then time-wise Ashley Hamilton and Sydney Steffen as well didn’t always score a lot for us but did really good with their leadership, ball handling and things of that nature.”
He says these are spots he has looked at filling since the summer, and he believes despite losing those girls that he still retains enough other players for last year’s team to build this season around.
“This year we have starters Jada Cattau, Maddie Wieseler, and Abby Hochstein coming back,” said Wortmann. “Abby is a junior now and the other two are seniors. Then we have Trisha Dybdal who played a lot for us, then also Brianna Miller, and the two Wortmann girls Aiden and Brynn. Those are the main girls coming back with varsity experience, so it should be a good group.”
Cedar stays in Class C2 this season and will be a part of Subdistrict C2-7 along with Homer, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge, Ponca, and Winnebago.
The Cedar Catholic girls started the season by hosting Crofton on Thursday night.
WYNOT - The Lady Blue Devils look to start the basketball season on Thursday with a match against Bloomfield on Thursday.The match will be in Wynot as the team looks to start the season on a positive note.
Wynot still features a rather young team, with just one senior on the roster. That senior would be Dharian Ahrens, and she is joined by six juniors with varsity experience from last year.
“Our returners would be Dharian Ahrens as our senior, and our six juniors which would be Shaelee Planer, Michaela Lange, Noelle Wieseler, Kaitlyn Heimes, Katelyn Heine, and Whitney Hochstein,” said head coach Steve Wieseler.
The team has high expectations after not making it to the State Tournament last season, snapping an eight-year streak.
“We are going to be pretty young yet this year again, but a lot of these girls have a lot of experience, so we have high expectations but we have a ways to go,” said Wieseler.
He has been the head coach of the Lady Blue Devils, as the team has won state championships under his coaching tenure in 2005, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 216. The school has also earned runner-up honors in 2010, 2015, and 2017.
In the 2018 season, Wynot lost to Humphrey St. Francis in the District Finals. HSF was the 2 seed at the State Tournament, earning runner-up to top seed Falls City Sacred Heart.
With the success that many of these girls saw on the volleyball court, coached by Steve’s wife Tammy, he hopes his team will translate that to the winter season.
“Hopefully our strengths will be our hustle and defensive pressure.”
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