Crestwood girl cagers enjoy excellent season
Wed, 03/22/2017 - 11:03am admin
CRESCO - Anytime a basketball team combines a strong defense with a solid offense, that team has a good chance to achieve success. That was the case for the 2016-17 Crestwood girls’ basketball team.
The Cadets posted an impressive 22-2 overall record, including 11-1 and a tie for first place in the Northeast Iowa Conference, and they qualified for the Class 3A State Tournament for the sixth time in school history (1995, 1997, 2003, 2014, 2015, 2017).
The only two losses the Cadets suffered this season came against Waverly-Shell Rock on Feb. 3 (48-52) and against Cherokee in the first round at State (61-70).
Crestwood’s stout defense was a big key to the team’s success. The Cadets held their opponents to an average of 36.9 points per game, which included 10 games in which they held the opponent under 30 points, and they had 50 blocks.
On offense, the Cadets averaged a solid 63.8 points per contest. They made 594 of 1,200 field goal attempts (49.5 percent), made 144 of 378 three-point attempts (38 percent), made 198 of 279 free throw attempts (71 percent), had 727 rebounds, 385 assists, and 240 steals.
Seniors on the squad included: Karley Freidhof, Blair Bodermann, Lauren Reicks and Tracy Martinek.
Juniors included: Emily Friesen, Kaylee Thomas, Allie Burke, Shannon Pisney, Brynn Bodermann, Ellie Friesen and Abbie Burke. Pisney and Ellie Friesen both earned First Team All-NEIC honors. Ellie Friesen was also named First Team All-State while Pisney was named Third Team All-State. Brynn Bodermann was named Second Team All-NEIC, and Emily Friesen earned NEIC Honorable Mention.
Cadet freshman Sharon Goodman also competed on the varsity team this year.
Crestwood Head Coach Doug Sickles said all the girls on the squad played well together throughout the year.
“I think the number one key reason for our success was the fact that we had really talented young ladies on our team,” Sickles said. “This group of kids played a lot of basketball on their own (during the off-season). They put in a lot of time working to improve, and that reflected on the court with the personal commitment they gave.
“As a team, the girls put in time during the summer (practicing), but it was much more than that. They put in a lot of work when no one was watching, and that made our team successful. Over half of our players played on various AAU teams during the summer. There are a few kids who are playing on AAU teams right now,” Sickles said.
Fun team to coach
The coach added that this year’s team was very enjoyable to coach.
“What made this team fun to coach was the fact that they were willing to share the ball with each other,” Sickles noted. “This season, we set the school record for the total number of assists with 385. This was also a fun team because the girls played well with their inside and outside games.”
The coach added the Cadets set a school record for most three-pointers in a game (14), most points scored in a season (1,530), best average number of points per game (63.8), most points in a game (93 against Oelwein) and fewest points allowed in a game (seven against Decorah).
Sickles added that Crestwood’s defense made the team fun to coach.
“This team was willing to work hard on the defensive end of the court,” the coach said. “Our girls made it difficult for our opponents to score. This was a fun group to be around.”
The coach said every player on the team contributed to the squad’s success.
“With our starting five (Emily Friesen, Shannon Pisney, Brynn Bodermann, Ellie Friesen, and Tracy Martinek), you knew what you were getting, and they all exceeded our expectations,” Sickles said. “One of our biggest pleasant surprises this year was freshman Sharon Goodman. She really stepped up and contributed a lot. She has come a long way to where she is now. She also has some room to grow.
“Kaylee Thomas also gave us a spark in some games. Obviously, we hung our hat on Shannon and Ellie. Brynn did a good job of switching positions for us going from a point guard to a wing. Emily played well on defense for us, and she also hit some big shots down the stretch. Tracy did a good job on defense and understanding the game,” Sickles said.
The coach noted the future of the program is very bright considering six of the top seven scorers will be back next year. Martinek is the only senior starter who will graduate this year.
“It will be exciting to have so many girls coming back next year,” Sickles said. “I know our girls are going to work their butts off during the off-season. The way the season ended (with the loss to Cherokee at State) left a sour taste in our mouths. I know the girls will take the steps they need to get further next year."