Team must replace core group that enjoyed strong season

Cassidy Askin is just one of several Lady Demons expected to pick up the scoring slack of a strong core of graduated seniors. (Rick Benavides/SLN)

 

By Mike Ramczyk

sports@southernlakesnewspapers.com

A Wendy’s High School Heisman award was only the start for Burlington senior Jessa Burling.

The Heisman winner for the state of Wisconsin, Burling, a 5-foot-7 combo guard that was first team all-everything as a junior, became the school’s all-time leading scorer Tuesday, and could rule in rebounding and assists by the end of the season.

Burling led the Lady Demons with 16.6 points, 9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 4.8 steals last year, as Burlington went 13-10 and 10-4 in the Southern Lakes Conference, good for third place.

It was the best record for head coach Mary Parker, who enters her fifth season.

While Burling will undoubtedly lead this year’s Demons, the team will have to replace plenty of scoring and leadership with the departure of seniors Megan Wallace (13 points, 7 rebs), Ashlyn Barry, Mackenzie Zwiebel and Adeline Jachim.

Those were the second, third, fourth and fifth leading scorers for Burlington. Wallace, Barry and Zwiebel were all-county selections.

This year, Parker welcomes back eight letter-winners, but finding additional, consistent scoring to complement Burling will be the challenge.

“The returning group of girls is a very athletic group, and we will hopefully be able to use that to our advantage on both sides of the ball,” Parker said. “We will continue to build around our defense, and need to improve on the offensive side of the ball. We need to become more of a threat from shooting from the outside, which would help open things up for us around the basket.”

“We did lose a core group of girls who graduated last year that played a lot of minutes for us, so we will look for some of the returners and newcomers to fill those roles this year.”

Parker and assistant coaches Mackenzie Ferstenou and Rachel Thomsen will guide returning seniors Burling, Hannah Ketterhagen and Jackie Garwood at guard, along with forward Holly Johnson, who will be a scoring threat inside.

Other returners include juniors Cassidy Askin and Caitlyn Matson along with sophomores Amelia Crabtree and Cora Anderson.

Newcomers to the squad are senior Jazmine Yambor, juniors Isabelle Roe and Lauren Kelly, sophomore Claire Walby and freshman Tessa Teberg.

“This year we look to compete with some of the top teams in our conference, and continue to grow as a program,” Parker said.

 

Muskego 61, Burlington 29

The Warriors opened a 31-18 halftime lead before cruising to victory in the Demons’ season opener Nov. 17 in Burlington.

Savy Balcerak scored 18 to lead all scorers, and the visiting Warriors knocked down five triples.

Burling led the Demons with 14 points, but 12 came in the first half.

Burlington was 9-for-17 from the foul line and didn’t hit a 3-pointer.

Johnson added five points.

“We ran out of gas,” Parker said. “We did not match up well with their pace of the game. We were too inconsistent on our defensive and offensive reads.”

Burling added seven rebounds and five steals.

 

Schedule

(HOME GAMES ALL CAPS)

November – 28: at Racine Park. December – 1: ELKHORN. 4: at Big Foot. 7: at Union Grove. 12: WATERFORD. 15: at Badger. 16: at Kenosha St. Joe’s. 19: KENOSHA BRADFORD. 29: OREGON. January – 5: at Wilmot. 9: WESTOSHA CENTRAL. 12: at Delavan-Darien. 16: WAUKESHA SOUTH. 19: at Elkhorn. 26: BADGER. 30: UNION GROVE. February – 1: at Waterford. 6: WILMOT. 9: at Westosha Central. 15: DELAVAN-DARIEN.

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