Athletics have four starters back
It was a breakthrough season last year for the Lyle/Austin Pacelli girls basketball team and with four starters coming back that success should continue on the court.
After years of enduring losing records, Lyle/Pacelli coach Brad Walter finally assembled a winning team last season. The L/P girls played an exciting brand of ball, finished with a 17-7 record, and made it to the sub-section semifinals at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.
"We're still a relatively young team, but the girls have a lot of varsity experience," Walter said. "They're bigger and more physically mature this season, so I expect big things from our team."
Spring Grove is the defending Southeast Conference champions and the favorite to repeat, but Lyle/Pacelli may figure into the picture. The Athletics have good outside shooters coming back and experienced players in the low post.
Sophomore point-guard Ann Rysavy averaged 14 points per game last season and was the top three-point shooter for the Athletics. Courtney Walter, an eighth-grader who was a starter last season, can also drain the long ball from the outside.
"We'll use Ann at the point and Courtney as the two-guard," coach Walter said. "Courtney showed last season she can shoot the three-pointer. Hopefully, this season we can get more scoring off the dribble penetration from her and open up the floor for the offense. Abby Leif is a senior guard and a good floor leader, so we have a nice mix in the backcourt."
Although their starting center and top scorer from last season is gone, the Athletics have a good group of players in the post. Freshmen center Madison Truckenmiller started at forward last season and will be the main weapon on the inside for the Athletics.
Whitney Hinz, a senior, will also see playing time in the low post. Maggie Lewison, a sophomore forward, was also a starter last season. Sophomore Annie Holtz will add even more depth for the Athletics in the post positions.
"We'll need the girls down low to pick up the scoring and give us a balanced offense," Walter said. "We're looking for double-digits out of Madison and Maggie on the inside. I'm excited about our prospects and can't wait for the season to start."
Lyle/Pacelli will play most of its home games this season at the Lyle Gym, except for a few doubleheaders with the boys which will be held in Austin. L/P opens the season tonight in Rochester against Schaeffer Academy.
LYLE/PACELLI GIRLS BASKETBALL
Seniors — Whitney Hinz (center), Abby Leif (forward). Sophomores— Ann Rysavy (guard), Maggie Lewison (forward), Annie Holtz (center). Freshmen— Madison Truckenmiller (center), Maggie Leif (forward). Eighth-grade— Courtney Walter (guard), Shakana Quelle (forward), Sarah Holtz (forward). Seventh-grade— Bethany Strouf (forward).
(Home games at Lyle)
Nov. 29 — at Schaeffer Academy, 7:15 p.m.
Dec. 2— LeRoy-Ostrander, 7:15 p.m.
Dec. 5— at Randolph, 6 p.m.
Dec. 9— at Spring Grove, 6 p.m.
Dec. 13— at Grand Meadow, 7:15 p.m.
Dec. 16— Houston, 7:15 p.m.
Dec. 19— Glenville-Emmons, 7:15 p.m.
Jan. 3— at Lanesboro, 7:15 p.m.
Jan. 5— at Alden-Conger, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 6— Schaeffer Academy, 7:15 p.m.
Jan. 9— Rochester Home Schoolers, 6 p.m.
Jan. 13— at Hope Lutheran, 6 p.m.
Jan. 17— at LeRoy-Ostrander, 7:15 p.m.
Jan. 20— Mabel-Canton (at Pacelli), 6 p.m.
Jan. 23— Grand Meadow, 7:15 p.m.
Jan. 26— at Fillmore Central, 6:15 p.m.
Jan. 27— Spring Grove (at Pacelli), 6 p.m.
Jan. 31— at Glenville-Emmons, 7:15 p.m.
Feb. 2— Southland, 6 p.m.
Feb. 3— at Houston, 7:15 p.m.
Feb. 6— at Medford, 6 p.m.
Feb. 10— Hope Lutheran (at Pacelli), 6 p.m.
Feb. 14— Lanesboro, 7:15 p.m.
Feb. 17— at Mabel-Canton, 6 p.m.