Girls Basketball Preview
Eight back for Lady Wolverines
By Chris Bennett
The Waterford Union High School girls basketball team features eight seniors and expects to be back among the class of the Southern Lakes Conference this season.
The Wolverines won 54-41 Nov. 18 in a non-conference game at Kenosha Bradford, and opened the season Nov. 15 with a 46-26 loss at home to non-conference rival Muskego.
Waterford (1-1) played a non-conference game Tuesday at Cudahy, and opens SLC play Nov. 29 at Badger High School.
Dena Brechtl, in her sixth season as head coach and 12th as a coach in the program, said the Wolverines were the deeper team against Bradford (0-1), but suffered some occasional offensive struggles.
“We broke down on defense a few times, but then found a rhythm,” Brechtl said. “We won the game by 13, but believed we probably should have won by more.”
Waterford led Bradford 25-21 at halftime and pulled away in the second half by outscoring the Red Devils 29-20.
Kathleen Fitzgerald posted a triple-double for Waterford – 11 points, 16 rebounds and 11 blocks.
Emma King, Katie Rohner and Maddy Anderson each scored 10 points and Kayla Brandenburg added nine.
“We still turned the ball over too many times, and will need to clean that up for the future games,” Brechtl said. “Ball control and quick decision making can sometimes get in our way.”
Brechtl said Waterford started strong against Muskego, and played phenomenal defense in the first half.
“We just couldn’t get much rhythm going on offense,” Brechtl said. “We shot poorly and could not execute as much as we wanted.”
Brechtl said Waterford executed with patience on offense in the second half, but points were still at a premium.
“We then started to turn the ball over more often and let those turnovers become easy opportunities for Muskego,” Brechtl said. “What was a three or five-point game quickly turned to 12-15 in a matter of five minutes.”
Muskego (1-1) outscored Waterford 24-17 in the first half and 22-9 in the second.
King led the Wolverines with eight points. Brechtl said Myranda Schuttenhelm scored five points in the second half off the bench.
King and Schuttenhelm are joined by Athena Zuelke, Brandenburg, Hannah Engel, Mackenzie Fry, Meredith Bernau and Lauren Torhorst as the Wolverines’ seniors.
Juniors Anderson and Alyssa Rohner and Fitzgerald, a sophomore, are joined by freshman Katie Rohner and Annie Benavides, and round out the roster.
The Wolverines finished 5-18 overall last season, and went 3-11 and finished sixth in the SLC. Waterford’s season ended Feb. 23 with a 59-38 loss to Jefferson in the WIAA Division 2 regional semifinals.
After the trials of last season, Waterford’s goals for this season are quite clear.
“Between senior leadership and some very young talent, we are prepared to rise back to the top of the SLC,” Brechtl said. “Our goal is to be back in the top three in conference.
“We expect to see huge improvements from last season, and are prepared to work hard to get there.”