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by Marlys Kruger
ELK MOUND — Coming off one of their most successful seasons in many years, the Elk Mound girls’ basketball team will have to come up with replacements for three Dunn-St. Croix all-conference players from a year ago.
The Mounders finished 25-2 overall and ran the tables with a 14-0 record to win the D-SC Conference title. After winning a regional title, the Mounders succumbed to West Salem in the Division 3 sectional semifinal game in Arcadia.
Gone via graduation are four year starter and first team all-conference pick Tori Blaskowski, three year starter and second team all-conference selection Brooke Emery and three year starter and honorable mention pick Stella Rhude. Also gone are Grace Roder, Lauren Garnett, Mercede Rothbauer, Karsyn Heath and Sierra Simpson.
Head coach Jordan Kongshaug will have plenty of experienced players returning to lead the team.
Junior Ellie Schiszik is back after earning first team all-conference honors and averaging 15.1 points per game (ppg) as a starter. She is a shooting guard and long range specialist who will also play some point guard. According to Kongshaug, Schiszik is an excellent defender, handles the ball well and is a major threat from the perimeter.
Another starter from last year, senior Lydia Levra, brings her 5.9 ppg average back and the Mounders will depend on her leadership, ball handling, energy and defense after earning honorable mention all-conference last season.
Six fellow returning letter winners should strengthen the squad. Junior Allie Roder, who battled some injuries last year, but had an excellent summer and is expected to use her abilities to attack the basket, handle the basketball and provide some length on the defensive end. Senior Chloe Dummer will be depended on for her rebounding, ability to score inside and toughness. Senior Carly Mohr is expected to be a rebounder, using her athleticism and ability to run the floor and score inside. Junior Hailey Meyer should be a strong post presence this year, is an excellent screener and should be a threat around the basket. Sophomore Allie Robel is extremely athletic and is very good on the ball defender and the team will look for her to score in transition. Junior Jadynn Sarauer is an energy player who attacks the basket and can score from the inside and outside.
A pair of newcomers will be asked to step up including sophomore Belle Kongshaug with her ability to knock down outside shots, along with junior Claire Roff, a strong defender and rebounder.
Team strength this year will be their athleticism which should allow them to run the floor effectively as well as pressure the ball on defense. Coach Kongshaug believes his team is unselfish and they play well together. They are willing to do what it takes to allow the team to be successful.
Team goals are to create more turnovers than they commit. If the Mounders can hold teams to under 40 points a game, they usually have a good shot to win. They want to keep working to play their best basketball at the end of the season.
Coach Kongshaug begins his 14th season leading the Mounders and carries a 214-94 record into the season. If the Mounders hope to defend their conference title, he expects Colfax, who are coming off a sectional title and return several great players, to be strong competition. Durand is also a very talented team.
Seniors: Lydia Levra, Carly Mohr, and Chloe Dummer
Juniors: Ellie Schiszik, Allie Roder, Teagan Mayer, Hailey Meyer, Jaidynn Sarauer, and Claire Roff
Sophomores: Allie Robel, Taylor Frinack, Belle Kongshaug, Elli Beskow, and Loftyn Awe
Freshmen: Abby Wolf, Chloe Wilkins, Amii Moua, Lolo Jerome, Lauren Gabert, and Kendra Garnett