This season’s Waterloo girls basketball team is very young. With only one senior on the roster, the Pirates rely heavily on the junior and sophomore class for minutes. Those underclassmen have stepped up in a massive way, though, for Waterloo early this season.
The Pirates are off to a 2-0 start this season. While a 2-game winning streak may not seem like much, this is just the second time since the turn of the millennium (2019-20, as well) that the Pirates have won their first two games.
Waterloo kicked off the season with a matchup with Parkview. The Vikings have served as the Pirates’ opener for the past two seasons now. Last year, Waterloo kicked off its season with an impressive 61-36 win. This year had tones of the same thing as Waterloo won, 55-37.
In the preseason, head coach Gabe Haberkorn seemed fairly confident in who his big scorers would be this season. In the opener, many of his predictions came through. Junior guard Julia Asik, an honorable mention All-Conference selection last season, kicked off her year with a 12-point performance where she made five field goals.
She was matched in scoring production from the team’s lone senior, forward Alyssa Baumann. Baumann made five of her eight shots from the field and knocked in a couple of free throws to produce her 12 points. Baumann had a double-double on the day as well as she brought down 11 rebounds.
Not far behind was sophomore wing Tess Blundell. Blundell took on the role of shooter for the Pirates, knocking down three of her five 3-point attempts on her way to 11 total points.
Junior guard Ava Jaehnke’s influence can’t be ignored, either. She did it all against Parkview, scoring eight points with four rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
Things wouldn’t come as easily in the next game against Markesan. The Hornets came to play, pushing the Pirates all game long. It all came down to some late-game dramatics.
With less than a minute to go, Markesan assumed a 33-32 lead after senior forward Amy Kelly collected an offensive rebound and put it in. With time winding down, sophomore wing Brenna Huebner was able to draw a foul. The youngster was cool as could be, knocking down both free-throws to put the Pirates up by a point.
The defense did what it had to do down the stretch, standing tall and making a stop. The Pirates held on to that 33-32 win to keep the undefeated season alive.
More than just a late-game hero, Huebner carried the Pirates all night. She led Waterloo in scoring with 14 points. She may have been even more impressive on the defensive side of the ball. She came up with a whopping seven steals and added two blocks just for kicks.
Asik had an off night offensively, making just one of her 18 attempts from the field. But, she made major contributions elsewhere as she pulled down 12 rebounds and added two steals and a block.
The Pirates have a week to revel in a job well done before getting back to the action. Waterloo won’t play again until Monday, Nov. 29 when they will welcome in Pardeeville. The home streak continues that week as Rio will pay a visit the next day and a huge game against St. Mary’s Springs will go down on Thursday, Dec. 2.