The Lakeside Lutheran girls basketball team must replace its top two scorers from a team that went 11-11 last season.
Kaitlyn Shadoski, who now plays at Wisconsin Lutheran College, scored 16.7 points a game en route to being named first team all-conference in the Capitol North. Maggie Cody (6.5 ppg) was an honorable mention recipient in her senior season.
The Warriors return a core group of seven letter-winners. Morgan Slonaker, a 5-foot-7 junior guard, and 5-10 senior forward Lauren Thiele are players to keep an eye on. Thiele was an honorable mention all-league player a season ago after averaging 5.8 points a game.
“We have a core group of seven returning that have a lot of heart,” Lakeside Lutheran coach Tim Matthies said. “Thiele and Slonaker have lots of heart. We’re looking at all seven of those letterwinners to make contributions.”
The starting lineup could fluctuate from time to time. Junior Mia Murray, a 5-6 guard, and 5-10 sophomore guard Lily Schuetz played meaningful minutes a season ago and figure to have bigger roles now. Murray scored 24 points in the team’s 43-37 season-opening win at Cambridge.
The junior guard trio of Lily Schuetz, Kaylee Raymond and Kylee Gnabasik will all play key minutes either as starters or off the bench.
Matthies enters his 22nd season at the helm with a record of 364-133. He sees defending Capitol North champion Lake Mills, a team that returns its entire lineup from a season ago, Luther Prep and Lodi as teams to beat in the conference.
The Warriors will look to have a balanced offensive attack, getting contributions from as many as eight players.
“Our identity doesn’t change too much,” Matthies said. “A difference from last year is that we had one go-to player (in Shadoski). We are looking for more balanced production. Lauren and Morgan are going to have to be more offensive minded. If we are getting six to eight points from those returning players, we’ll be in good shape.”
The Warriors won the league title two years ago with a 10-0 mark. A tenacious defense that will often pickup for the entire length of the floor will help keep opponents at bay.
“There’s a buy in to our team identity of tough in the halfcourt and that we are going to get after most teams in the fullcourt,” Matthies said. “The big thing is to do that consistently. It should be interesting to see how we develop.”
Lakeside is going to spread the wealth offensively, looking to get everyone involved.
“This is an unselfish group, they aren’t going to have egos,” Matthies said. “People are saying ‘what can we do to be successful?’”