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Emmetsburg Basketball Begins 2019-2020 Season

December 2, 2019
By Joseph Schany , Emmetsburg News

By Joseph Schany

With the winter sports season officially underway, the Emmetsburg E-Hawk boys' and girls' basketball teams look to hit the court running this 2019-2020 season.

Lady E-Hawks

Article Photos

THE 2019-2020 LADY E-HAWKS basketball team will look to improve upon last season’s 15-8 record with experience and leadership. The Emmetsburg girls will begin regular season play on Tuesday, Dec. 3, facing the Cherokee Braves at Emmetsburg High School. Pictured above, front row from left: Lindsay Carter, senior; Raven Brown, senior; Abbie Schany, junior; Taylor Steinkamp, junior; Raegan Swanson, sophomore; and Hailey Foxhoven, senior. Back row from left: Annie Fiene, Head Coach; Maddy Mueller, junior; Somer Hudson, senior; Molly Schany, senior; Gretchen Hofstad, senior; and Tim Swanson, Assistant Coach. Not pictured: Makenzie King, junior. -- Joseph Schany photo

The Lady E-Hawk enter the 2019-2020 season with hopes of improving on last year's 15-8 record in a big way.

"This season, we hope to contend for a conference title and make a run in the tournament," said Head Coach Annie Fiene, now in her seventh year as head coach of the Lady E-Hawks.

Coach Fiene and the Lady E-Hawks finished third in the Twin Lakes Conference a season ago, falling to Applington-Parkersburg in a 38-31 regional semifinal heartbreaker.

Now, with a new season upon them, the young women of Emmetsburg have set a challenging yet simple goal for themselves.

"We are striving to beat the teams that have beaten us the last few years," said Coach Fiene.

In order to prepare for the challenge, the Lady E-Hawks worked hard to improve their game in the off-season.

"We attended team camps at Wartburg and Okoboji this past summer," said Coach Fiene. "We played some really good competition."

The Emmetsburg girls also take the court with experience on their side, having lost no one to graduation a season ago, returning six seniors: Lindsay Carter, Hailey Foxhoven, Raven Brown, Gretchen Hofstad, Molly Schany, and Somer Hudson. Together, these young women put up around 800 of last season's 1,100 points.

Three juniors also return to the court: Abbie Schany, Taylor Steinkamp, and Makenzie King.

Newcomers Maddy Mueller, a junior, and sophomore Raegen Swanson round out the 2019-2020 Lady E-Hawk varsity team.

"We are blessed with having 10 seniors and juniors this season who have really shown some great leadership," said Coach Fiene.

The Lady E-Hawks will begin the regular season on Dec. 3, hosting Cherokee Washington at Emmetsburg High School.

As the regular season nears, the young women are working hard to identify their strengths and opportunities.

"We are a very good defensive team, especially in the half court," said Coach Fiene. "We need to be better offensively and have really put an emphasis on consistent outside shooting as well as decreasing our turnovers from a year ago."

On Tuesday, Nov. 19, the Emmetsburg girls travelled to Mason City High School to compete in a Hall of Pride scrimmage against the Mason City Mohawks. The Lady E-Hawks put 70 points on the board, but fell short in a 73-70 Mason City victory.

E-Hawks

Head Coach Bill Geelan, now in his sixth year as head coach for the Emmetsburg E-Hawks, sees a bright future for his young basketball team.

"I really feel that we have the potential to be a contender in the Twin Lakes Conference this season because of how well we are able to defend other teams consistently. In the past, other teams knew that we weren't a high scoring team so they could game plan around that, which puts a lot of pressure on our defense to play at a high level. Hopefully we are able to generate more offense this season to help take a little bit of that pressure off of our defense."

The E-Hawks finished last season with an 8-14 mark and Coach Geelan hopes for improvement in 2019-2020.

"We certainly were playing better basketball at the end of the regular season," said Coach Geelan, "however, we came out and underperformed in our district opener against Pocahontas Area, which we are looking to improve on this year."

Coach Geelan and the E-Hawk boys took full advantage of the off-season, participating in a five-team Summer League alongside Bishop Garrigan, Algona, North Union, and Lake Park, as well as participation in the NIACC Shootout in Mason City.

"We had a great offseason," said Coach Geelan. "We were able to learn and grow from the Summer League experience. There was a lot of great competition each week which really helped prepare us for this season. We also participated in the Shootout in Mason City where we were fortunate to get three very competitive games that day."

The E-Hawks lost six seniors from a season ago. However, the returning players will bring skill and leadership to the young team.

"We return five letter winners from last year's team," said Coach Geelan. "This year we will have three seniors that we will look to for leadership. Two of those seniors will have played many minutes for us last season in Zach Foxhoven and Tim Geelan. The third senior, Gerard Ruiz, was unable to play last season due to injury he sustained in football. He will also be a great leader for our group as well."

Geelan scored 261 points last year, averaging 11.9 a game, while Foxhoven put up 98 points throughout last season.

Returning junior's Ben Dunlap, Lex Kassel, Colby Weir, and Grant Kibbie will also bring needed experience and leadership. "Dunlap was our leading scorer last season, as well as our leading rebounder," said Coach Geelan. Dunlap put up 276 points last year, averaging 14.5 points a game.

"Kassel played a large portion of our season last year, but was also bitten by the injury bug and had to sit out the remainder of the season," said Coach Geelan. Kassel scored 40 points during his time on the court last season.

"He will certainly add stability to our back court this year," said Coach Geelan.

"Weir is another player that saw some time last year and we are looking for him to step into his new role this year," added Coach Geelan. Weir put up 36 total points in the season.

Rounding out the Emmetsburg E-hawk varsity team this year are sophomores Tyler Morton and Wesley Plantz, along with Sean Europa, a freshman.

Coach Geelan added, "Our sophomores/freshmen could potentially give us some real quality minutes as well this season."

Coach Geelan has a lot of faith in the young men who will take the court when the regular season begins on Tuesday, Dec. 3, against Cherokee at Emmetsburg High School.

"The most important goal for us is to improve as a team, especially on the offensive end. We definitely have room to improve on defense, but we are emphasizing different ways to score and working to be more aggressive to the hoop for some easier buckets."

Coach Geelan concluded, "If we can get our guys to buy into what we want to do and how we want to play this season, we can make a lot of noise.""We return five letter winners from last year's team," said Coach Geelan. "This year we will have three seniors that we will look to for leadership. Two of those seniors will have played many minutes for us last season in Zach Foxhoven and Tim Geelan. The third senior, Gerard Ruiz, was unable to play last season due to injury he sustained in football. He will also be a great leader for our group as well."

Returning junior's Ben Dunlap, Lex Kassel, and Colby Weir will also bring needed experience and leadership. "Dunlap was our leading scorer last season, as well as our leading rebounder," said Coach Geelan. Dunlap put up 276 points last year, averaging 14.5 points a game.

"Lex Kassel played a large portion of our season last year, but was also bitten by the injury bug and had to sit out the remainder of the season," said Coach Geelan. "He will certainly add stability to our back court this year. Colby Weir is another player that saw some time last year, and we are looking for him to step into his new role this year."

Coach Geelan has a lot of faith in the young men who will take the court when the regular season begins on Tuesday, Dec. 3, against Cherokee at Emmetsburg High School.

"The most important goal for us is to improve as a team, especially on the offensive end. We definitely have room to improve on defense, but we are emphasizing different ways to score and working to be more aggressive to the hoop for some easier buckets."

Coach Geelan concluded, "If we can get our guys to buy into what we want to do and how we want to play this season, we can make a lot of noise."

 
 
 

 

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