North Butler Girls Basketball to Host South Winn in Season Opener on Monday

The North Butler girls basketball team will look to begin the new season with a statement win in front of the home crowd against South Winneshiek on Monday. 

North Butler after a 5-17 record overall last season, returns some great leadership with four seniors. The Bearcats are led by senior and solid post playmaker Kaycee Wiebke with 8.7 points per game and 13 rebounds per game last season. Junior Reagan Mulder will look to keep the offense running smoothly after passing out 56 assists to lead the team last season.

Head Coach Jordan Nolz says a driving goal throughout the offseason and into the new year for the Bearcats, is to be a more respected program by their opponents, especially in conference play.  

"Their out to make a difference, their out to get back and get better from last year," says Nolz. "We ended with five wins, and I don't think we gained enough respect from the improvement that we had from the prior yearto last year. I think the kids took that to heart over the offseason and then now in the first week. They know they haven't been respected in the conference and were considered lower in the conference. I think their really going out there and the seniors are getting on the younger player and teaching the younger players. They know their on a big mission to try and prove something." 

South Winneshiek after a 7-16 finish overall last season, the Warriors return a younger team led by five upperclassmen. The Warriors highest returning scorer is junior Karissa Wenthold who averaged five points per game and led the team with 45 steals last season. Senior Aubrey Willey will help with managing the paint after tracking down 67 rebounds last season.

Nolz says some keys for the Bearcats to remain on track is to force late contested shots on defense and trusting in one another when working the ball around on offense.

"We want to come out there and grind the shot clock down the whole time, force that offense to make tough decisions, and really just lock in and communicate together to force tough shots up by the offense is what we're looking to do. Offensively we need to get it out of the hands of the guards into the post so we can look around and find our options elsewhere, so we kind of know what we are looking for with that. We had some good success against 1-3-1 last year, but really making sure these girls can trust each other's movements and make the right passing decisions."

The Bearcats will also look to improve in protecting the basketball after averaging 28 turnovers per game last season by instead forcing more turnovers after averaging eight steals per game last season.

North Butler came from behind to win last year’s meeting in a thrilling one possession contest 46-43 in Calmar. 

Action begins at 7:00 p.m. in Greene.

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