L-C’s Schiltz looks to continue strong play
LUXEMBURG – Cassie Schiltz made a strong first impression last season.
The 5-foot-11 guard for Luxemburg-Casco averaged 17.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.8 steals per game as a freshman in North Eastern Conference play to rank in the top seven for each statistical category in the 10-team league.
“She looked like she was a senior,” Spartans junior forward Alexis Dorner said.
Schiltz has been getting looks from NCAA Division I programs, including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which became the first college team to offer the talented L-C sophomore a scholarship.
More will likely follow if Schiltz can continue her strong play while receiving even more attention from opponents this season.
“She constantly impresses,” said Nic Levy, who is Schiltz’s AAU coach with Wisconsin Flight Elite. “You put her in high-pressure situations, and she just performs.
“She embraces having that target on her back. I think the more teams focus on her, the better she plays. If they’re go to put the focus on her, she’s sees the court really well and she’ll get it to her open teammates. I think she likes that kind of a challenge.”
L-C, which returns four starters, is hoping to challenge the top teams in the NEC with its promising talent.
“We’re a lot faster this year,” said Dorner, who averaged 13.1 points and 7.6 rebounds in conference play last season. “We’re definitely going to be harder to beat on the fast break.”
Wrightstown, which returns all of its starters, was tabbed as the favorite in the NEC, according to a survey of coaches conducted by USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. Freedom, which returns conference player of the year Makenna Haase, is the defending NEC champion.
Schiltz, a first-team all-NEC choice, and Dorner, a second-team all-NEC player, helped the Spartans go from being a two-win team two years ago to being a 14-win team last season.
Although it would like to get to the point to challenge for the conference title, L-C’s next step is simply to win a playoff game this season. It’s something the program hasn’t experienced since it beat Whitefish Bay in the 2011 WIAA Division 2 state semifinals.
“We want to get it back up to the top,” Schiltz said. “We haven’t won our first round of regionals in a really long time. Last year we got close to it. But this year we definitely want to win that game.”
Schiltz said she developed a love for the game from the first time she saw her older sister, Emily, shooting a basketball. Emily was a senior on last season’s team and an honorable mention all-conference choice after leading the team in 3-pointers (54-for-174).
Schiltz was second by shooting 32-for-99 (32.3 percent) from 3-point range.
“I think her shot now is literally unstoppable,” Dorner said. “No matter what, no team is going to be able to completely shut her down. She’s going to drive or she’s going to shoot. She’s worked on more of everything, so everything has just been up a notch.”
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NORTH EASTERN CONFERENCE
Coach: Nick Yaeger, second year.
2015-16 record: 14-11, 10-8 NEC.
Returning letter winners: Skylar Gast (sr., G, 5-8), Catherine Morse (sr., F, 5-10), Nicole Seefeldt (sr., F, 5-10).
Notable: Morse is the only returning starter for the Truckers. She was the team’s third-leading scorer (7.8 points per game) and second-leading rebounder (9.5 pg) last season.
Coach: Kory Fredrikson, fourth year.
2015-16 record: 15-9, 11-7.
Returning letter winners: Dani Delebreau (sr., G, 5-5), Sam Halada (sr., G, 5-7), Leah Hansen (sr., G, 5-2), Jayden Laurent (jr., F, 5-7), Ashley Leiterman (sr., F, 5-11), Karli Pennings (sr., F, 5-8), Aly Rish (sr., G, 5-5).
Notable: The Vikings are an experienced team, but have to replace Jen Nehls, an unanimous first-team all-conference choice that is now playing at Eastern Illinois University. Leiterman averaged 12.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per in earning second-team all-conference honors last season. Pennings is returning from a torn ACL.
Fox Valley Lutheran
Coach: David Wenzel.
2015-16 record: 14-10, 11-7.
Returning player: Jenna Bruss (jr., G, 5-8),
Notable: The Foxes lost a majority of their scoring with the graduation of six seniors. Bruss was the team’s leading scorer and a second-team all-conference choice last season as a sophomore.
Coach: Mike Vander Loop, 15th year.
2015-16 record: 22-3, 17-1.
Projected starters and top reserves: Brooke Garrett (jr., G, 5-7), Makenna Haase (sr., F, 6-1), Taylor Haase (fr., F, 6-0), Jada Helms (jr., G, 5-7), Jordan Kempen (sr., G, 5-9), McKenzie Kempen (jr., G, 5-7), Carly Peters (fr., G, 5-4), Morgan Witt (sr., F, 5-8).
Notable: The defending conference champion returns NEC player of the year Makenna Haase, who averaged 14.6 points and 11.7 rebounds in league play last season. Helms, an honorable mention all-conference choice, will miss the start of the season with an injury, while senior guard Jordan Mashlan is out for the season with an injury.
Coach: Rachel Hermus, second year.
2015-16 record: 6-17, 6-12.
Returning letter winners: Amanda Battle (sr., G, 5-3), Dora Gomm (sr., G, 5-7), Olivia Hermsen (jr., G, 5-8), Tess Keyzers (sr., G/F, 5-8), Kendra Schumacher (sr., C, 5-10).
Notable: Keyzers is a remaining starter from the Mustangs’ Eastern Valley Conference championship team of two years ago. She earned first-team all-NEC honors last season after finishing as the conference’s second-leading scorer (20.4 ppg) and fourth-leading rebounder (9.4 rpg)
Coach: Jeff Jodar, third year (nonconsecutive).
2015-16 record: 14-9, 13-5.
Returning letter winners: Cassie Dart (sr., G, 5-4), Alexis Dorner (jr., F, 6-0), Mary Cravillion (jr., G, 5-7), Jenna Jorgensen (so., G, 5-8), Carson Junio (jr., F, 6-0), Cassie Schiltz (so., G, 5-11), Mariah Tebon (sr., G, 5-3), Madysen Thayse (sr., F, 5-7).
Notable: Emily Schiltz will have to be replaced as an honorable mention all-conference choice and the team’s leading 3-point shooter (54-for-74). Cassie Schiltz, her younger sister, was 32-for-99 from 3-point range last season. Dorner was sixth in the NEC with 7.6 rebounds per game. Tebon averaged 2.8 assists in conference play last season.
Coach: Robert Smith, first year.
2015-16 record: 2-20, 1-17.
Projected starters and top reserves: Mackenzie Bebo (jr., G, 5-2), Katelyn Kitzinger (fr., G, 5-2), Jordan Miller (sr., G, 5-5), Brookelyn Peterson (jr., W, 5-10), Alexia Pristelski (so., G, 5-8), Mady Sims (so., W, 5-4), Megan Suhs (sr., P, 5-9).
Notable: Smith replaces Luke Maulding, who was head coach the previous four years. Miller (6.3 ppg) and Bebo (6.2 ppg) return after leading the team in scoring in conference play last season. Miller and Suhs are the only seniors on the roster.
Coach: Mike Kaczmareck, seventh year.
2015-16 record: 5-18, 4-14.
Returning players: Kaitlyn Donart (sr., G, 5-4), Kennedy Kratz (jr., G, 5-4), Jenny Krueger (sr., F, 5-11), Sadie Pankratz (sr.,. G, 5-7).
Notable: Krueger was the team’s leading scorer (11.9 ppg) and rebounder (5.3 rpg) last season. The Panthers will have to replace guard Bailey Wolf, a second-team all-conference choice thated played on the 2014 WIAA Division 3 state team.
Coach: Nate Harms, first year.
2015-16 record: 1-22, 1-17.
Top returners: Victoria Nowak (sr., G/F, 5-10), Alana Radley (jr., F/C, 5-10).
Notable: Nowak, a second-team all-conference choice, was the NEC’s leading scorer (20.9 ppg) and rebounder (15.2 rpg) last season. Harms replaces Amanda Bronk, who was the head for two years.
Coach: Mike Froehlke, fourth year.
2015-16 record: 23-3, 16-2.
Returning starters and top reserves: Santana Berger (jr., G, 5-7), Shannon Darden (jr., C, 6-2), Bridget Froehlke (fr., G, 5-9), Ashley Glodowski (sr., F, 5-11), Taylor Guns (jr., F, 5-11), Alisha Murphy (sr., G, 5-6), Danielle Nennig (sr., G, 5-11), Meghan Riha (fr., G, 5-9), Olivia Vander Heiden (sr., C, 6-3), Kailee Van Zeeland (jr., G, 5-10), Lexy Wolske (sr., F, 5-11).
Notable: The Tigers return all of their starters from last season, including first-team all-conference players and NCAA Division II recruits Danielle Nennig (Purdue Northwest) and Alisha Murphy (UW-Parkside). Van Zeeland, a second-team all-conference choice that averaged 13.4 ppg, along with Wolske (5.7 rpg) and Guns (4.3 rpg) are the other returning starters for Wrightstown, which advanced to the WIAA Division 3 sectional finals for the first time since 2004 last season.
Andrew Pekarek, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
This article originally appeared on Wisconsin: L-C’s Schiltz looks to continue strong play