Gillett’s Kaczmarek Picked as M&O MVP

Gillett senior Carleigh Kaczmarek was picked as the M&O Conference Player of the Year.

No game was a better showcase of Kaczmarek’s abilities than the regular season finale in which she hit nine of her 14 shots from 3-point range and scored 35 points.

“Carleigh was our court leader. She had a motor that wouldn’t stop,” Gillett coach Mike Kaczmarek said. “She is one of the few players in my coaching career that I knew we couldn’t take off the floor. Her commitment to the game, passion, and leadership will be missed in our program.”

She led the Tigers in scoring, assists, and steals. And at just 5-foot-2, she averaged over five rebounds per game.

It was her third straight first-team all-conference award.

“It has been an honor and privilege to coach someone with such a passion and commitment to any sport she is playing,” coach Kaczmarek said. “Being a three-sport all-conference athlete is extremely demanding. Making the sacrifice and commitment is a credit to her work ethic and time management. Doing this and still maintaining a 3.87 GPA in the classroom is an outstanding accomplishment.”

Gillett’s second-leading scorer was Cilena Guns, who made honorable mention in the M&O.

“Cilena became a very good defender for us this year. As she felt more comfortable in our system her game began to grow,” coach Kaczmarek said. “We are looking forward to her being our leader the next two years in our program.”

Coleman was well-represented on the girls’ basketball all-conference teams after an undefeated 16-0 season, including senior first-teamer Aubrey Bintz.

Junior Kiersten Jensen was a second-team selection and senior Cameron Zeitler was an honorable mention.

Additionally, Bre Hanrahan was selected as the conference’s defensive player of the year.

Bintz was the M&O’s player of the year last season, and her stats this season were just as good.

She led the Cougars in points (14.6), rebounds (7.1), assists (4.6), and steals per game (4.9). 

“Aubrey had a better season in conference than she did last year as player of the year,” Coleman coach Todd Olsen said. “She was a team captain and a leader on the court. Aubrey is a great competitor and worked hard at practice and on her own time to be a better player.”

Bintz was also on the All-State Academic Team, selected by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. 

Jensen was second on the Cougars in points per game with 12 and averaged just under four rebounds per game. She led the team with a 35 percent mark from 3-point range.

“Kiersten really stepped into the starting role this season after having a good year off the bench last year,” Olsen said.

“She really improved defensively and she is a great scorer at all three levels.”

Jensen was also named to the All-State Academic Team by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. 

Hanrahan, the Coleman senior class salutatorian and another member of the all-academic team, is a player that did a lot of little things to help the Cougars this season.

“Bre is not going to fill up the stat sheets with steals or rebounds, but she is a great on ball defender and was asked to guard the opposing team’s best ball handler every game regardless of height,” Olsen said. “Her on-ball pressure created steals for her teammates and a lot of turnovers.”

Zeitler averaged nine points, five rebounds, and two steals per conference game.

“Cameron was asked to play all five positions and defend all positions this season,” Olsen said. “She could score inside and was a great shooter from the outside. Cameron was a team captain and was a great teammate.”

Niagara had three players earn all-conference honors after the Badgers finished second in the conference standings, led by senior Josie Rock, who made the first team.

Rock averaged 15 points and five rebounds per game this season, also leading the Badgers in steals. She showed off her range this season, making 51 shots from downtown.

Her top scoring game in conference play this season came against Wausaukee on Jan. 23, when she scored 23 in a 64-38 win. Her highest scoring total all season was 26 in a 53-41 win over Three Lakes on Dec. 28.

She finished her career with 1,126 points and three all-conference selections.

Senior Morgan Borchardt was a second-team all-conference selection and sophomore Mallory Sanicki was an honorable mention.

Borchardt averaged 13 points per game and eight rebounds. She was a three-year starter and two-time all-conference pick.

“Morgan is an exceptional athlete and is very explosive going to the basket,” Niagara coach Karl Lamoreaux said.

“Morgan made huge strides as a player this season and has an unbelievable work ethic.”

Many of Sanicki’s best scoring nights came down the home stretch of the season, as she scored 11 or more points in each of the Badgers’ final six regular season games, including 17 against Goodman/Pembine in a 66-20 win on Feb. 7, 15 in a 52-38 win over Florence on Feb. 14, and 14 in a 55-44 win over Lena on Feb. 27.

Lena sophomore Eva Brooks made the first team and senior Natalie McNurlen, who tore her ACL mid-season, was an honorable mention.

Brooks played a big part in the Wildcats winning over 20 games this season, including 12 of their 16 M&O games.
She averaged a double-double this season, with 13.4 points per game and 10.4 rebounds per contest. She also led the M&O in blocked shots.

She scored 25 in a 50-22 win over Crivitz on Jan. 24 and 25 again on Feb. 3 in a 58-52 victory over Oneida Nation. In both games, she shot at least 61 percent from the field and had double-digit rebounds.

She had five games of 15-plus rebounds this game, with her season-high of 17 coming in a narrow loss to Coleman on Nov. 29.

“Eva is a very versatile player that can play inside and out,” Lena coach Tim Goldschmidt said. “She is always looking to improve her game by taking advice and works hard to improve her game and get the most out of her teammates.”

In the 13 games before she got injured, McNurlen averaged 10.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game.

Arguably her top game this season was against Niagara, when she scored 25 points on 8-14 shooting with five rebounds. She also had seven assists and seven rebounds against Suring on Dec. 5 and a 10-rebound game against Crivitz on Dec. 2.

Last but not least on the M&O first team was Wausaukee’s Rachel Schlies, who scored 18 points per game in her senior season. She finished with 1,245 career points.

“I cannot say enough about the athlete, teammate, and person Rachel has become in the last six years of her basketball career,” Wausaukee coach Dave Messar said. “I am very proud to have the opportunity to coach such a talented and motivated young lady. I am sure she will take her work ethics and apply them in all aspects of her future.”

Next up for Schlies is a spot on the WBCA North All-Star Team in June before she heads to play basketball for Milwaukee Area Technical College.

She averaged 14.2 rebounds, 2.25 assists, and 4.3 steals per game this season as well.

“Rachel is a very confident and competitive athlete. I have only seen one player have more drive to enhance their skills in basketball than Rachel,” Messar said. “Rachel is driven to perform well in all situations whether it be sports or academics or any other part of her life.”

Oneida Nation’s Mariah Cloud, Suring’s Christine Sleeter, and Lucy Gruszynski of Crivitz filled out the second team.
Gruszynski averaged 11.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.5 steals, and 1.3 assists per game as a sophomore.

“Lucy had a great year in her sophomore season. She was my primary ball handler and played very hard,” Crivitz coach Brett Meyers said. “Most defenses focused on her throughout the year.  Despite only playing in 18 games, she put up very respectable stats. Looking forward to her junior season.”

Sleeter led Suring to a 9-7 M&O record. Over 24 games this season, she averaged 17.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game, all Eagle bests. She blocked 75 shots, 62 more than any other player on the team.

“Christine is a very dedicated athlete that works hard on and off of the court,” Suring coach Terry Garrigan said. “She has set high goals for herself and has always worked hard to achieve them. She scored her 1,000th point during the final game of her senior year.  Truly an amazing way to finish her high school year.”

Suring senior MacKenzie Bailey, Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy junior Martha Anderson, and Oneida Nation sophomore Jaylyn Caldwell were honorable mentions.

Bailey scored 7.9 points per game on the season. Her best scoring night was an 18-point outburst in a 57-47 win over Gillett on Jan. 9, which started a stretch of four straight double-digit scoring games for Bailey.



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