Storm to lean on experienced sophomores
By Josh Staloch
KEWAUNEE – Last season, a lot of young players on the Kewaunee girls basketball team got some valuable experience over the course of a 9-7 run through a competitive Packerland Conference schedule.
This year, Storm head coach Lynn Geier will rely on a group of sophomores to anchor the rotation as Kewaunee looks to develop into a conference title contender.
“The last time I was able to play a young team like this was during our State runs in 2011, 12 and 13,” said Kewaunee Head Coach Lynn Geier, who has been the Storm varsity coach for the better part of 20 years but with the program in one way or another going back to 1985. “It’s nice to be able to work with this kind of youth. But I’ve also got some great juniors. We’re going to try to be quick and anticipate because anticipation can really help.”
Senior Rylee Dax is in her fourth season as a varsity contributor and juniors Brianna Demmin and Lexie Hanrahan will be key pieces of the Storm’s overall plan this year.
But the sophomore class will make up the bulk of the eight-player regular rotation, according to coach Geier, as Gabby Stangel, Summer Walecka, Braelyn Chevalier, Lily Morton, Breanna Riha and Jadelynn Kroll will all be playing a lot of minutes for the 2023-24 Storm.
The Storm will be quick this year and the team’s tenacity on both sides of the ball is coming along, according to Geier.
The overall basketball IQ of the team is increasing all the time.
“Quickness is a strength and their overall skill level is pretty good. We’ve just got to keep fine tuning and, if I can keep them humble and grounded, I think we can do a lot of things,” Geier said.
And she said that it’s coming together; they’re working well together in practice, pushing each other to improve.
While last year’s 9-7 conference mark put the Storm just a game behind the Peshtigo Bulldogs in Packerland standings, the team’s brutal non-conference schedule saw an overall record of 11-17 after beginning the campaign with tough losses to Freedom and Wrightstown.
And it doesn’t get any easier for the Storm to begin the new season, starting out with a trip to Wrightstown before hosting Manitowoc Lutheran, both of which are solid programs.
Geier is clear about the team needing to take this season’s big early challenges in stride and put its best foot forward, to improve each time out.
With that as a focus, more wins should follow.
“I just want them to be selfless, to work hard and to hold each other accountable,” added Geier, when asked about her expectations and goals for the Storm this season. “I’m also looking to push for the team to hopefully be in the race for conference. I want them to continue to grow mentally and physically. They need to be tough, we’re really going to have to hit the boards hard to be competitive.”