Tri-County prep girls basketball teams looking for better outcomes in 2019-20

The Tri-County regional high school girls basketball teams are confident they will produce better records and deeper tournament runs in the 2019-20 season.

Of course, Eleva-Srum would like to do just as well as last season 20-4 record and regional championship (while finishing second in the Dairyland Conference Large Division). The Cardinals returning leading scorer and all-conference player Brianna Nelson along with seniors Kloe Hillestad and Olivia Windjue, also all-conference while losing starter Aubrey Lasher to graduation.

Osseo-Fairchild had the next best record at 14-9 overall (10-4 in the West Cloverbelt where they tied for second with Fall Creek). The Thunder lose all-conference players Sophiah Filla and Maddy Mulcahy to graduation but return All-WCC senior Makayla Steinke along with starters Madison Hugdahl, Koryn Metzler and Autumn Vollbrecht along with a talented sophomore class of players led by Brooke McCune.

"We have six seniors on the team but we also have four sophomores and a freshman who see some significant playing time this season," O-F head coach Tera Simpson said. "There's a learning curve they have to master but when they do we should have a very deep team with a 10-player rotation. We also have a team with good athletes and size as well."

Fall Creek too, is integrating new players into its line-up which finished 11-10 overall last season. All-WCC guard Ariel Heuer is back and sophomore Gianna Vollrath and junior Emma Ryan (both received honorable mention all-conference) could an imposing 1-2 combo inside to go with Heuer's outside shooting, junior Mackensey Kolpien's strength from the wing spot on the floor and junior Emily Madden in the backcourt too.

"If we can stay out of foul trouble and have our best players on the floor we can be very imposing," Fall Creek Head Coach Jason Martzke said. "If we do that we'll have a very strong frontcourt with depth and with Ariel's good shooting and her leadership as well."

Augusta looks to improve upon a 9-14 overall record (6-9 in the Dairyland Large) and hopes to do so returning six letterwinners in seniors Camryn Grunwald, Hannah King, Chloe Jacobs and juniors Phoenyk Knuth, Kennedy Schroeder and Bri Krueger.

Grunwewald was all-conference last season but the Beavers will have to replace their leading scorer: Ashlyn Kroger, an all-conference selections who has graduated.

"We have a good shooting team but more than that they work hard and learn well. They're very coachable," Augusta head coach Josh Peterson said. "That will help us towards reaching our goals for a winning season and a top-half of the league place in the standings."

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