YOUTH HOLDS HOPE FOR 2020-21 SEASON!!

By William

MOUNDRIDGE – While the Moundridge girls basketball team finished just 10-11 overall for the 2019-20 season, it was the story behind the season that holds hope for the future of the Lady Wildcats.

In a snapshot, the Lady Wildcats may have lost 11 games, but eight of those games came to ranked schools in Classes 1A, 2A and 3A, plus three of those eight came at the Haven Basketball Tournament which is touted yearly as one of, if not the best girl’s tournament in the state. Another note on those losses, four of them came against schools which played in the Class 3A and 2A state tournaments.

Despite the losses, two of those Lady Wildcat 10 victories really stood out to Head Coach Vicky Kessler, and early season win over Lyons then they played one of their best defensive games and shut down the Lyons top two offensive weapons, and a victory over Hutchinson Trinity later in the season when Trinity was unbeaten at 6-0 in their Heart of America League.

“Records show a lot of things, but one thing they don’t show is how hard the team works,” noted Coach Kessler. “Our team took zero days off this season and they showed up early for morning practices and pushed hard, all while staying after practice to work on skills. They worked on everything that the coaches asked. That attitude doesn’t show in a record, but it will be reflected in life. Athletes learn to collaborate, persevere, be responsible, adapt to roles, and set goals. Those are all life skills. These young ladies learned so much more than basketball and I could NOT be prouder of them.”

Another note about the 2019-20 Lady Wildcats was their youth as only one senior was on the roster and that was Katie Stucky. Ten other players earned letters this past season and will be counted on for a strong return to the court next season. Those Lady Wildcats earning letters included juniors Erin Durst, Alea Durst, Emily Durst, Kenzie Elmore, Kourtney Kaufman and Myiah Logue; sophomores Emma Blough and Kate Eichelberger along with a solid pair of freshman contributors in Emily Durst and Kindall Elmore.

Three Lady Wildcats earned post-season honors including:

  • Kate Eichelberger, just a sophomore, was named first-team All-Heart of America and was very deserving of the honor. Eichelberger led the team in scoring by averaging 12.2 points per game and rebounding with 9.4 per game while leading the league in blocked shots with 5.2 per game. Eichelberger also shot 62% from the field and made herself a dominant post player on the offensive end while her wingspan and blocking ability made her dominant on the defensive end.
  • Kourtney Kaufman, a junior, made second-team All-Heart of America as the only returning starter this past season. Kaufman showed why she earned the all-league honor by always having to face the opponent’s strongest defender while still being able to connect on 31% of her attempts from beyond the three-point line.
  • Katie Stucky, the lone senior on the Lady Wildcat roster, was named Academic All-State.

We played in the HOA League

Coach Kessler had high praises for all three of the girls earning post-season honors, saying, “Katie Stucky will be missed as she added strength both inside and outside on the offensive and defensive ends of the court. She also had to defend some of the best players in the state this season and always took on the challenge. Kate (Eichelberger) made huge strides in her strength and confidence from her freshman year and has the potential to be one of the best posts that has worn a Lady Wildcat jersey. What was exciting about Kourtney Kaufman’s season was how she became more than just a three-point shooter as she became a strong weak side rebounder, averaging 5.8 rebounds a game. Her making second-team all-league shows that hard work pays off because Kourtney puts a lot of time in the gym outside the season itself.”

Coach Kessler also pointed out that looking toward the 2020-21 season, the Heart of America League will be once again very strong with teams like Sterling, Berean Academy, Bennington and Inman all returning a strong nucleus of players like the Lady Wildcats will.

Academics was another area which Coach Kessler held a lot of pride with this seasons Lady Wildcats, commenting on such as she concluded her post-season reflections by saying, “Although the academic honor is only for seniors, I wish it could be for the whole team as the ladies worked hard in the classroom and combined for a cumulative grade point average of 3.7. Most of them are also involved in things like band, choir, art, debate and much more. These young ladies excel in all that they do and represent Moundridge well.”

MOUNDRIDGE LADY WILDCATS 2019-20 SEASON STAT LEADERS:

Leaders in Points Scored: Kate Eichelberger – 257; Kourtney Kaufman – 224; Erin Durst – 179; Katie Stucky – 102.

Leaders in Points Per Game: Kate Eichelberger – 12.2; Kourtney Kaufman – 10.7; Erin Durst – 8.5; Katie Stucky – 4.8.

Leaders in Rebounds (Off/Def): Kate Eichelberger – 198 (63/135); Kourtney Kaufman – 121 (26/95).

Leaders in Assists: Erin Durst – 69; Kourtney Kaufman – 68; Katie Stucky – 59.

Leaders in Steals: Erin Durst – 57; Kourtney Kaufman – 32; Kate Eichelberger – 31; Katie Stucky – 23.

{Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers}

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