The only thing disappointing to say about the Lady Bearcats loss to Lutheran North 54-37 last weekend in Sectional playoffs is that we won’t see them play as a team again. They were just so much fun to watch, improving weekly, both as individual players and as a team.

The Bearcats found out quickly that the Crusaders are a very physical team. They come at you. Coach Emmons saw the repercussions of this immediately and his challenge was how to teach on-the-fly to a team that is quickly experiencing a different style of play and needs to adapt, pronto.

“We were in major foul trouble early and that really hurt us,” said Coach Emmons. “Lutheran North had really good ball pressure and were very physical with us. We weren't able to get to the rim like we are used to and when we did, we didn't finish like we normally do.”

Still, the Bearcats were able to create 22 turnovers on defense with Allison Stiers and Quincy Erickson at seven apiece. The girls also managed five steals from Caraline Brune, Emma Godat, Hanna Grosse, Elly Krueger and Stiers. Allison Stiers also had eight defensive rebounds, followed by Erickson with seven total, five on defense. Unfortunately, Grace Winkelmann and Erickson fouled out, with Brune and Godat each earning four fouls.

Hermann continued their accurate free throw shooting, hitting 11 for 16 (69 percent), but hit only 12 for 45 (27 percent) of their shots overall. Allison Stiers led the scoring with 14 points, followed by Erickson with eight.

The Lady Bearcats were down 10 at the half, but closed the gap by one point at the end of the third quarter. A nine-point game with a full quarter to play is still a game, but Hermann was out-scored 15 to 7 in the 4th period.

“We were down six to nine points late and had to foul to try to extend the game and this helped them increase their lead,” explained Coach Emmons. 

Still, it was a good game and these seniors will be missed. They accomplished a lot and made Hermann proud. What did Coach Emmons think about his first season as head coach?

“This team was fantastic to coach,” he said. “The seniors are very competitive and pushed everyone at practice. Every player accepted their role and worked really hard to maximize our potential. This team won a conference championship (only the seventh in the 40 years of girls basketball) and a district championship, the 15th in school history. Most importantly, they really matured as people. I can't wait to see what the future holds for the seniors and I'm very excited to get back to work this summer with the returning players. We have a lot of girls returning who have a lot of valuable experience. We will pull some girls from the junior varsity who can really impact the varsity team next year. 

As an assistant coach for the girls team last year, Coach Emmons knows how hard his assistants work.

“I would like to thank my two assistant coaches Shelby Cooper and Lexi Hughes who brought a ton of knowledge to every practice. I would like to thank our statistician Cathy Elsenraat. She makes sure everything runs smoothly and makes sure that the score and fouls are correct. I would like to thank our three managers: Hannah Bader, Chelsey Moeckli, and Ellie Englert who make game days run smoothly and keep everything in order. I would like to thank our scout Darren Schutt who gave us a lot of very valuable information on other teams which helped lead to our success.”

Congratulations Lady Bearcats and thanks for an exciting season of basketball!

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