ELK MOUND — Returning the leading scorer for the conference along with several other returning letter winners from last season, Elk Mound girl’s basketball coach Jordan Kongshaug has reason to believe his team will improve on their 14-10 overall record and 8-8 conference record.
Although they lost the Linberg twins, Sami and Nicki, both All Conference picks as juniors through graduation along with Kristi Lane, senior Josie Hayes is back to lead the team along with fellow seniors Kaysi Meindel, Emma Hayes, Lexi Grossbier, Lindsey Kohls and Mikayla Olson. Hayes, a two time All Conference selection, including first team last year, poured in almost 19 points a game as a junior and averaged six rebounds a game, and Meindel was the leader in three pointers with 33 while averaging nine points a game.
Kongshaug begins his third year leading the Mounders and will be looking at juniors Mattie Pitts, Katie Johnson, Kaitlin Hollister, Carissa Wieser, Jamie Solem, Danae Sternecker and Anna Sessions to get some playing time as well. Solem was the first player off the bench for the team last year and Sessions, Johnson, Pitts and Olson all gained some valuable experience towards the end of the season when a few players went down with injuries. Two freshmen, Sarah Winchester and McKenna McVie may see some varsity court time as well.
“Obviously, Josie Hayes will be a big part of our game,” Kongshaug said.”But these girls played a lot of summer ball and I think we have a few players who will step up and help her under the basket. Replacing the Linberg twins and Kristi will be tough because they did a lot of things for us, so we are looking for players who can control the offense with their ball handling skills. I believe we can be a pretty good team once we figure out where to play everyone.”
Kongshaug thinks Colfax will be the team to beat as usual and Boyceville will be tough again. Mondovi has a new coaching staff but he knows they are usually in the mix of things, and Plum City has some talented players.
“After Colfax, it could be anyone beating anyone this year,” he said. “We will have to be playing our best in every game but right now we have a lot of work to do before we get started.Improving throughout the season is always one of our goals and we think we will do that.”
Assisting Kongshaug with his group of 25 players are Mike Wettstein, Mike Schiszik and John Chisholm. The Mounders will be tested right off the bat as they open the season at Boyceville Nov. 20 before returning home to host Eleva-Strum Nov. 26.