WYNOT — Well, it’s back to trying to be awesome once again for the Wynot High School girls basketball team.
The defending Class D2 state champions return to the hardwood following a 22-6 record that included a dramatic 39-38 win over Fall City Sacred Heart in the title game and of course, another District title.
It was the seventh state championship during this century, including six in the last decade, while also falling in three other state final games.
So, to say the Blue Devils are a dynasty would be an understatement.
The team has done well because the players are dedicated to working hard for success, Wynot Coach Steve Wieseler said. They also know they have the full support of the school and the community behind them.
“It’s about commitment by the kids and the community and they support all the teams,” head coach Steve Wieseler said.
The girls practice hard to master Coach Wieseler’s game plan, he said.
“We found a system that the kids can buy into it and they put the time into it,” he said. “They are really good kids. It is a commitment to our full court pressure/ upbeat tempo and more importantly the girls commit to the team aspect of playing their roles.”
That type of up tempo play allows Wieseler to get quite a few athletes involved.
“We play a lot of kids and go 10-12 deep usually,” he said.
Wieseler said last year’s team was able to work through some growing pains and came together at the right time.
“Last year, we gelled at the right time. We try to play the biggest schools we can and get beat up early in the year and learn from that. We went to the state really dialed in and beat the number 1, number 2 and number 3 teams. It was by far not an easy run. We hit enough shots to win and they were all really close. It was one of those years where it wasn’t expected.”
Wieseler enters his 21st season with a 381-126 career record and he is loaded for bear this winter as every player from the championship squad is back, including six regular senior starters in Kaitlyn Heimes, Shaelee Planer, Katelyn Heine, Noelle Wieseler, Michaela Lange and Whitney Hochstein.
“We will be better and stronger, and we played all summer, so I’ve seen improvement in our skills,” Wieseler said. “Last year, we started five guards and this year, we have some size with Whitney Hochstein (6-foot-1) who is back after being injured last year. This year, we might have a little more offensive balance, as our guards would get in foul trouble without a rim protector.”
Wynot also has two bigger kids coming up that are sophomores and could provide a much more dynamic look on the defensive end.
Throw in up and comers, Autumn Lawson, Edyn Sudbeck, Emyrsyn Sudbeck, Reanna Grenninger, Krystal Sudbeck, Chloe Heimes, Karley Heimes, Amy Tramp and Kendra Pinkleman, which their coach sees as potentially contributing, the Lady Blue Devils could be scarier than ever.
“They all played a lot last year on our team and have continued to improve,” Wieseler said. “We have a lot of experience, depth and work ethic.”
The team may lack a bit in actual strength and size, but they still should be ready for challenges from Humphrey St. Francis, Falls City Sacred Heart, Brunning-Davenport-Shickley, Lawrence Nelson and Mullen.
The season starts Dec. 5, at 6:15 p.m., against host Bloomfield.
“What I am hoping to see is that we can play hard and they always do and that we get better and more efficient on offense,” Wieseler said. “Less turnovers, shoot the ball better and hopefully score more. It’s hard to say because the first game is usually pretty sloppy. But these senior girls have been playing in the system since sixth grade and they’ve been a fun group that loves to play.”