CAPITOL NORTH CONFERENCE
Team: Conference W-L, Overall W-L
Lake Mills: 8-2, 17-6
Lodi: 8-2, 17-6
Lakeside Lutheran: 6-4, 11-11
Poynette: 3-7, 9-12
Watertown Luther Prep: 3-7, 12-11
Columbus: 2-8, 4-18
Top WIAA tournament performances: Lake Mills lost to Shoreland Lutheran in the D3 regional finals and Lodi lost to Platteville in the D3 regional finals.
RETURNING ALL-CONFERENCE PLAYERS
First team: Julianna Wagner, jr., Lake Mills (unanimous); Grace Schmidt, so., Watertown Luther Prep; Lauryn Milne, jr., Lodi.
Second team: Vivan Guerrero, jr., Lake Mills; Taylor Roughen, jr., Lake Mills; Jaden Kolinski, jr., Lodi; Jade Pitta, jr., Lake Mills; Jordan Link, jr., Columbus.
Honorable mention: McClain Mahone, so., Lake Mills; Lauren Thiele, sr., Lakeside Lutheran; Jaylnn Morter, jr., Poynette; Lauren Paulsen, jr., Watertown Luther Prep.
1, Lake Mills; 2, Lakeside Lutheran; 3, Wisconsin Luther Prep
Coach: Tim Dworak, eighth year (64-103).
Returning starters (4): Taylor Zittel, 5-5, sr., G (3.5 ppg, 2 rpg); Molly Kahl, 5-8, jr., G (5.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.2 apg); Jordan Link, 5-8, jr., G (11.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg); Ashley Olson, 5-5, jr., G (4.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg).
Other returning letterwinners (5): Emma Paulson, 5-4, so., G; Aurora Toutant, 5-11”, sr., F; Abbi Olson, 5-5, jr., G; Alyssa Ekern, 5-9, sr., F; Megan Huber, 5-7, sr., F.
Key fact: Molly Kahl will have a delayed start to the season trying to get past a bout with mono.
The lowdown: The Cardinals are a team of mostly underclassmen. Jordan Link averaged nearly 12 points as a sophomore and will be looked to as the spark of the offense.
Quotable: “Our team is young, athletic, and quick this year. We should be competitive in our conference. We should be competing for middle or top half of the conference depending on how our younger players develop ” Dworak said.
Lake Mills L-Cats
Coach: Brandon Siska, third year (22-23).
Returning starters (5): Julianna Wagner, 5-5, jr., PG (14 ppg, 4 rpg, 4 apg); Taylor Roughen, 5-6, jr., g (11 ppg, 4 rpg, 2 apg); Jade Pitta, 5-8, jr., F (12 ppg, 5 rpg); McClain Mahone, 5-10, so., PF (6 ppg, 5 rpg, 2 apg); Vivian Guerrero, 6-1, jr., c (10 ppg, 10 rpg, 1apg).
Other returning letterwinners (4): Ava Wollin, 5-6, jr., G; Hannah Lamke, 5-7, jr., F; Brooke Fair, 5-4, jr., G/F; Kayla Will, 6-2, jr., C.
Key fact: The entire starting lineup is returning from last season, but none of the starters are seniors.
The lowdown: Lake Mills is the odds-on favorite to win conference after sharing last season’s title with Lodi, earning the L-Cats’ first-ever Capitol North title. Lake Mills won with a very young lineup, and all of those starters are back. In fact, the L-Cats welcomes back its entire roster that featured all freshman and sophomores last season. Julianna Wagner was Capitol North co-Player of the Year. The L-Cats welcome back Kayla Will, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, the 6-2 center is expected to play a significant role for Siska, as she will add depth at the post position and much needed height.
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Quotable: “This is the deepest, most experienced and most versatile team we've had here in a long time,” Siska said.
Lakeside Lutheran Warriors
Coach: Tim Matthies, 22nd year (364-133).
Returning starters (2): Lauren Thiele, 5-10, sr., F (5.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.2 apg); Morgan Slonaker, 5-7, jr., G (2.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.4 apg).
Other returning letterwinners (5): Mia Murray, 5-6, jr., G (4.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 0.6 apg) ; Kaylee Raymond, 5-8, jr., G (2.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.4 apg); Lily Schuetz, 5-9, so., G (3.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.0 apg); Kyle Gnabasik, 5-4, jr., G (1.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 1.4 apg); Olyvia Uecker, 5-4, jr., G (1.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.2 apg)
Key fact: Kaitlyn Shadoski graduated after averaging 16.7 points and 5.1 rebounds last season. She's now playing at Wisconsin Lutheran College.
The lowdown: The Warriors return a lot of varsity experience, in the form of seven returning letterwinners. However, none averaged more than Thiele's 5.8 points last year. On the other hand, the seven returnees totaled an average of 21.8 points per game last year.
Quotable: “Our returners have tons of heart; several of our varsity prospects should improve our overall length” Matthies said.
Lodi Blue Devils
Coach: Michelle Puls, eighth year (98-77).
Returning starters (2): Jaden Kolinski, 5-10, jr., G (9.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.8 apg); Lauryn Milne, 5-9, jr., G (13.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.5 apg).
Other returning letterwinners (3): Taylor Ripp, 5-8, jr., P (3.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.1 apg); Morgan McNeil, 5-9, sr., P (1.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 0.3 apg); Ella Puls, 5-10, so., G/P (1.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.3 apg)
Key fact: Team lost Alana Gilles to graduation. She now plays at UW-La Crosse. Gilles averaged a team high 15.3 points and 8.3 rebounds.
The lowdown: The loss of Gilles is significant for the Blue Devils, however junior Lauryn Milne has shown the ability to score, averaging 13.2 points her sophomore year. Jaden Kolinski should lead the team in rebounds, as she finished second to Gilles in that statistic.
Quotable: “We are a young team; strength will be speed and depth” Puls said.
Coach: Jon Horsfall and Nathan Morter, first year.
Returning starters (5): Jaylnn Morter, 5-4, jr., G (7.0 ppg, 2.6 ppg, 0.8 apg); Megan Reddeman, 5-9, jr., F (6.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.5 apg); lucy Cuff, 5-8, sr., F ( 3.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.6 apg); Molly Anderson, 5-9, sr., F ( 3.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 0.3 apg); Katelyn Chadwick, 5-9, jr., G (2.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.6 apg).
Other returning letterwinners (2): Jessica Bruchs, 5-9, jr., SG (3.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.1 apg); Mikayla Fox, 5-7, sr., G (1.5 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 0.5 apg).
Key fact: Also, Poynette will be dropped to Division 4 for the tournament.
The lowdown: After a disappointing year, the Poynette Pumas will set out under new direction. The Pumas will implement a co-coaching scenario under Jon Horsfall and Nathan Morter. “We plan to take (more than) 350 3-point shots this season,” Horsfall said. “If we shoot like we do in practice, we should be very good.”
Quotable: Poynette will not have a single head coach and an assistant. Rather, the Pumas will use a co-coach scenario. Horsfall said: “There is no record of a past (Poynette) team using co-coaching, to our knowledge.”
Watertown Luther Prep Phoenix
Coach: Mark Schroeder, second year (12-11).
Returning starters (3): Ana Glisper, 5-4, sr., G (4 ppg); Lauren Paulsen, 5-9, jr., G (8.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg); Grace Schmidt, 6-0, so., F (16 ppg, 11.9 rpg).
Other returning letterwinners (3): Naomi Bridgeman, 5-4, sr., G (4 ppg); Grace Kieselorst, 5-9, jr., G; Sadie Schultz, 5-8, sr., F.
Key fact: Grace Schmidt averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds her freshman year, earning all-conference honors. Schmidt returns for her sophomore year and could become one of the league's top players.
The lowdown: The Phoenix expect to be improved from last season. Schmidt will be the focal point of the team on both ends of the floor. Junior Lauren Paulsen averaged 8.9 points and will provide a strong secondary scoring option.
Quotable: “(We) have a good post game and excellent three-point shooting. … We’ll be looking for someone to step in with distributing the ball,” Schroeder said.