Three senior girls, all with three years of varsity playing time, finished off their high school days on the basketball court for Elk Mound this year. Josie Hayes along with twin sister Emma Hayes and Kaysi Meindel were all instrumental in the team going from a 9-14 record their sophomore season to 14-10 as juniors and 17-7 this season. After placing fifth with identical 8-8 records in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference as sophomores and juniors, the Mounders moved up to third place in the conference standings this year with an 11-5 record. They also went all the way to the regional final before losing to Cameron.
Josie Hayes accomplished a feat only three other Lady Mounders have done when she reached the 1,000 point mark in scoring in the game against Chippewa Falls McDonell this year. She continued to add to her point total and finished with 1,195, putting her second on the list behind Colleen Heimstead. (She surpassed Renae Rhude’s total of 1092 and Megan Krumrie’s 1031). Josie led the conference in scoring the past two seasons and was a first team All Conference selection as a junior and a senior and was named second team her sophomore year. With just about every opposing team putting their best defensive player on her, Josie still managed to average 16.8 points a game as a senior and shot 58% from the floor and from the foul line. She led the team in rebounds with 185 for a 7.7 average per game and was second in blocks with 26. She also collected 69 steals. Her high game was 31 points against Onalaska Luther. As a junior, she was even more impressive, leading the conference with an 18.9 scoring average, shooting 62% from the field and from the charity stripe. She knocked down 20 of 57 three point attempts for 35% and led the team with 145 rebounds and 58 blocks. Josie’s three year totals include 1,195 points, 475 rebounds, 148 steals, 84 blocked shots and 63 assists. She was a threat from inside and out as she drained 34 triples over the course of her career. Josie plans on attending UW-River Falls next fall and hopes to continue her basketball career.
Kaysi Meindel, an All Conference athlete in three sports, also hopes to play basketball at UW-River Falls next fall. Kaysi came on strong this year, averaging 11.4 points a game which placed her second in the conference behind Josie. She made 53% of her shots from the field and 43% from the free throw line and had a season high game of 21 points against Spring Valley. She led the Mounders in assists with 99 and in steals, grabbing 88. Kaysi also collected 59 rebounds and six blocked shots. In three years of play, she scored 636 points including 62 free throws and 72 three pointers. She assisted her teammates 227 times, snagged 192 rebounds and swiped the ball away from the opposing team 215 times. She also blocked 15 shots.
After playing in just 11 games as a sophomore, Emma Hayes played in every game as a junior and was in the starting lineup as a senior, and finished with 118 points for her career with 63 of those points as a junior. This year she shot 57% from the field and 60% from the foul line and connected once from three point land. Her high game was against Glenwood City with eight points. She also grabbed 39 rebounds and added 37 assists with 30 steals. Totals for her three years include 118 points, 86 rebounds, 66 assists, 61 steals and two blocked shots. Emma is a cross country runner and long distance runner in track and hopes to compete in those sports somewhere at the college level.
“Advancing to the regional final was a big step for our program this year,” Elk Mound coach Jordan Kongshaug said after their final loss to Cameron. “I appreciate the leadership of our three seniors. They will be missed.”