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Girls basketball preview: Marshall goes through changes, but remains the favorite in the Capitol South
GIRLS BASKETBALL PREVIEW | CAPITOL SOUTH CONFERENCE

Girls basketball preview: Marshall goes through changes, but remains the favorite in the Capitol South

From the Prep girls basketball preview: Capsule preview of area conferences and teams series
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Prep girls basketball photo: Marshall's Anna Lutz

Marshall's Anna Lutz shoot over Amherst's Heather Pearson in the D3 finals of the Wisconsin State Girls Basketball Championship at the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon on Saturday March 10 , 2018. Marshall won 63-55. Photo by Mike Roemer

CAPITOL SOUTH CONFERENCE

2018-2019 STANDINGS

Team: Conference W-L, Overall W-L

Marshall: 10-0, 26-2

Belleville: 8-2, 19-6

New Glarus: 4-6, 11-13

Waterloo: 4-6, 14-9

Wisconsin Heights: 3-7, 6-14

Cambridge: 1-9, 7-17

Top WIAA tournament performances: Marshall won the WIAA Division 3 state championship, 64-56 over Laconia; Belleville lost to La Crosse Aquinas, 89-53, in a Division 4 sectional final.

RETURNING ALL-CONFERENCE PLAYERS

First team: Anna Lutz, jr., Marshall; Jaylynn Benson, jr., New Glarus.

Second team: Laura Nickel, jr., Marshall; Ashlee Adler, sr., Wisconsin Heights; Olivia Williams, sr., Cambridge.

Honorable mention: Jenna Shrader, sr., Belleville; Natalie Hering, sr., Wisconsin Heights; Kelsi Handel, sr., Wisconsin Heights.

COACHES’ FAVORITES

1, Marshall; 2, Wisconsin Heights; 3, New Glarus


TEAM CAPSULES

Belleville Wildcats

Coach: Tony Pharo, first year.

Returning starters (3): Ava Foley, 5-7, so., G (9.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg; Jenna Shrader, 5-9, sr., W (9.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg); Sophia Grady, 5-6, sr., W (5.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg).

Other returning letterwinners (3): Erin Kittleson, 5-7, sr., W (3.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg); Callie Smith, 6-0, so., F (2.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg); Mickey Stampfl, 5-8, so., G (1.6 ppg, 0.5 rpg).

Key fact: Sophomore guard Mickey Stampfl was hampered by an injury last season, but Pharo expects her to step into a bigger role this season alongside classmates Foley and Smith.

The lowdown: The Wildcats expect to be around the top of the conference standings this year, despite losing center Rachael Heittola to Bemidji State. Belleville boasts plenty of returning experience and speed, but will need to improve on rebounding to compete with bigger teams. Sophomore guard Ava Foley and senior wing Jenna Shrader should carry the scoring load for the Wildcats.

Quotable: “We will have a nice mix of seniors, juniors, and sophomores returning this year,” Pharo said. “Belleville should expect to be in the top of the conference again this year.”


Cambridge Blue Jays

Coach: Kelly Cunningham, second year (7-17).

Returning starters (5): Ashlynn Jarlsberg, 5-5, sr., G (8.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg); Gracie Korth, 5-9, sr., F (8.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg); Olivia Williams, 5-8, sr., G/F (10.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.5 apg); Taylor Stenklyft, 5-6, so., G (1.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg); Mayah Holzhueter, 5-10, so., F (6.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg).

Other returning letterwinners (2): Mary Hommen, 5-5, sr., G (3.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg); Meghan Bolger, 5-5, sr., G (0.5 ppg).

Key fact: Cambridge returns five seniors and two other starters from last year’s team, making them by far the most experienced squad in the conference.

The lowdown: With Williams, Korth and Stenklyft Cambridge starts three capable ball handlers who can keep the ball moving and the offense running. They’re complemented by Mayah Holzheuter, who anchors the Blue Jays in the post and provides a physical presence.

Quotable: “We have all five talented starters returning as well as additional support. Our team has shown pride in the willingness to work together for the betterment of the team,” Cunningham said.


Marshall Cardinals

Coach: Doug Pickarts, first year at Marshall.

Returning starters (3): Anna Lutz, 6-1, jr., F, Marshall (18.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.2 bpg); Laura Nickel, 6-0, jr., F (12.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2 apg); Mya Andrews, 5-5, jr., G, Marshall (3.3 ppg, 2 apg, 2 spg).

Other returning letterwinners (3): Rain Held, 5-5, sr., G (3.1 ppg); Skyla Michalak, 5-6, jr., G (1.2 ppg); Abby Ward, 5-10, so., F (1.1 ppg); Sandra Assaba, 5-8, sr., F (0.9 ppg); Alayna Cramblit, 5-4, so., G (0.3 ppg).

Key fact: Pickarts comes to Marshall this year after leading DeForest to a state runner-up finish in 2014 and Barneveld to a runner-up finish in 2016. He most recently coached girls volleyball at Beaver Dam.

The lowdown: First-team all-conference and fourth-team Associated Press all-state junior guard Mia Morel transferred to Madison Memorial. But Lutz, a third-team all-state player last year, leads a deep group of returnees. Nickel joins to provide a tough-to-contend-with front line for Marshall’s smaller opponents. The Cardinals lost their season opener to Division 1’s sixth-ranked team, Germantown, but beat Franklin the following night.

Quotable: “Overall team quickness, and learning a new system, are our weaknesses,” Pickarts said.


New Glarus Glarner Knights

Coach: Kim Burton, sixth year (50-44).

Returning starters (2): Jaylynn Benson, 5-7, jr., G (16.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg); Lily Himmelmann, 5-9, sr., F (7.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg).

Other returning letterwinners (3): Brooke Watrud, 5-8, sr., F; Dylan Noll, 5-10, jr., F; Emma Marty, 5-9, so., G.

Key fact: Junior Jaylynn Benson is second in the conference in scoring among returners behind Marshall’s Anna Lutz.

The lowdown: Benson will shoulder the brunt of the scoring load, and specializes in getting to the basket and finishing around bigger players. The Glarner Knights will rely on Himmelman to anchor the paint and lead rebounders on both ends of the floor. New Glarus has plenty of question marks after losing three starters from last year’s team, but has six returning letterwinners to fill those openings.

Quotable: “This team should be competitive. They are athletic and like to run the floor. Marshall will look to defend their title and will continue to be very tough. The rest of the conference should be evenly matched and it will be a battle,” Burton said.


Waterloo Pirates

Coach: Gabe Haberkorn, 10th year (45-142).

Other returning letterwinners (3): Skyler Powers, 5-10, jr., G (6.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg); Brooke Mosher, 6-1, jr., F (3.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg); Joslyn Wolff, 6-0, jr., F (1.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg).

Key fact: The Pirates are by far the conference’s youngest team, and do not have a single senior on the roster.

The lowdown: Waterloo replaces all five starters from last year’s outfit but its young roster brings enviable size. The Pirates will start two six-footers in Joslyn Wolff and Mosher, and Skyler Powers has excellent size for a guard. Mosher is an Illinois volleyball commit and has cleared 5 feet in the high jump. She brings her athleticism and leaping ability to bear defensively and as a rebounder. Waterloo’s success will hinge on what it can get from the four freshmen who will start the season with the varsity.

Quotable: “We will be very young. To reach our goals this year we need to mature a little bit and not get too caught up or let things drag us down,” Haberkorn said.


Wisconsin Heights Vanguards

Coach: Bill Sullivan, third year (15-29).

Returning starters (5): Kelsie Handel, 5-7, sr., F (7.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg); Ashlee Adler, 5-9, sr., G (10.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg); Skyler Powers, 5-10-, jr., G (6.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg); Miranda Keith, 5-10, sr., F (5.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg); Natalie Hering, 5-7, sr., G (7.5 ppg, 1.7 apg); Hana King, 5-8, jr., F (7.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg).

Other returning letterwinners (4): Jada Wood, 5-7, sr., G (4.9 ppg).

Key fact: The Vanguards return all of their varsity players from a season ago, including all-conference selections Ashlee Adler, Natalie Hering and Kelsie Handel.

The lowdown: Marshall is the overwhelming favorite for the conference crown, but if anyone’s going to challenge, the Vanguards might be the best bet. With Adler, Hering and Handel back in the fold, Heights has the most returning all-conference players. They’re supported by senior forward Miranda Keith, who will be the team’s go-to option in the post and Wood.

Quotable: “We look to compete for a conference championship. We hope to be one of the teams that will compete to knock off Marshall,” Sullivan said. “We need to play in the half court and eliminate the unforced errors.”

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