Saturday, November 27, 2010

Freeman's Girls B-Ball preview

from today's Waukesha Freeman --


SEASON PREVIEW:

Catholic Memorial girls basketball
Small Crusaders ready to run, rebound
Size will be an issue for CMH
By Mark Hutchinson Freeman Staff


WAUKESHA – Al McGuire, the late Marquette University basketball coaching legend, used to call tall, dominant post players “aircraft carriers.” Mark Lepkowski, who is beginning his 13th season as Catholic Memorial’s girls basketball coach, has just two players standing 5-foot-10 or taller in his fleet, so you might say the Crusaders will be relying on battleships during the 2010-11 season. “We have to be an aggressive, quick team,” Lepkowski said. “We have to run. We have to be able to rebound – that’s probably the single most important key to the season.

“They’re a physical group, so I’m hoping that rebounding will be there. The kids are working hard.” CMH went 8-6 in the Classic 8 Conference to tie Waukesha South for fourth place and finished 13-10 overall last season. Elizabeth Guhl, a senior on that squad, averaged team highs of 13.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.6 steals per game and was named second-team all-Classic 8 and fourth-team all-Waukesha County.

Just one senior – 5-8 guard Jennifer Benash – is back, but she is joined by five juniors who saw varsity action a year ago: 5-6 guard Alison Mueller, 5-11 forward Katie Mueller, 5-6 guard Lauren Mueller, 5-4 guard Sydney McCarthy and 5-8 guard Jenny Waupoose.

Allison Mueller was the team’s second-leading scorer and honorable-mention allconference, Benash was the team’s fourth-leading scorer and Katie Mueller was the sixth-leading scorer. “Those are the kids we’ll look to first, but we have a lot of nice kids up from our jayvee team who are really going to help,” Lepkowski said.

Benash and Katie Mueller are the team captains. Completing the Crusaders roster are five juniors: 5-8 guard Abby Radish, 5-9 forward Marissa Nennig, 5-10 forward Katie Mark, 5-8 forward Becky Stekiel and 5-9 guard Lilly Lentz.

Lepkowski noticed during the first week of practice that the Crusaders have made strides since last season. “The kids have definitely improved,” he said. “We’ll be stronger in the post, even without the height. Guardwise, we’re really pretty solid there. “We’re a good shooting team; we were last year. The kids who left weren’t necessarily the shooters, so we have that back.”

Lepkowski expects the Crusaders to utilize a variety of defensive looks. “We’ve got to mix it up,” the coach said. “We’ll play man-to-man. We’ll keep working on that and it will be our No. 1 defense, but we’ll have to change it up a little bit depending on who we’re playing. “We have some teams in our conference with some big kids. We’ll have to see how we match up.”

Lepkowski expects the Classic 8 race to be typically competitive. “(Defending conference champion) Pius is the favorite,” he said. “Then I’ll go with KM, Mukwonago and maybe South. They’re a dark horse. They have two D-I players, so they’ll be solid.”

E-mail: mhutchinson@conleynet.com

Photo credit: Robert F. Borkowski/Special to The Freeman Catholic Memorial junior Alison Mueller drives against coach Mark Lepkowski during practice.

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Girls Basketball, Friday Results from the Waukesha Freeman --

BROOKFIELD – Junior Alison Mueller scored 22 points to lead Catholic Memorial to a 50-42 victory over Cedarburg in the Kemp’s Klassic at Brookfield East on Friday. Junior Lauren Mueller, Alison’s twin sister, had nine points – all on 3-pointers – and junior Katie Mueller, who is no relation, had eight points. Junior Abby Radish also had eight points and had to leave the game after bumping heads with an opponent and getting stitches.

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