Rochester high school girls basketball season preview


Last season:John Marshall had its second straight losing season with a 7-19 overall record and 7-11 in the Big Nine Conference, tied for fifth place with Austin. The season ended with a 46-27 road loss to Owatonna in the first round of the Section 1AAAA tournament. The Rockets endured a pair of six-game losing streaks and had the second-lowing scoring team in the conference at 44.1 ppg.

Outlook: Terry Heiderscheit begins his 22nd season as head coach in quest of 15 wins to reach 300 for his career, and he is optimistic this team might be able to double last year’s wins total. That’s because virtually all of last year’s team has returned; there was just one senior a year ago. Returning starters include junior F Katelyn Rushton (15 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 3.3 spg), senior F Megan Haynes (8 ppg, 4 rpg), senior G Christina Block (6.2 ppg) and junior F Allyson Sherden (6.2 ppg). JM will have good size again with 6-0 senior F Megan Byrne and a pair of 6-0 eighth-graders Jaime Ruden and Nicole Fautsch. Heiderscheit thinks a tough non-conference schedule will make the Rockets better.

Coach Heiderscheit: "We like how hard the kids are working so far. We have a good mix of veterans and young players that can play. We have players we feel can score more effectively for us this year; points were a problem some nights last year. If things go as we hope we should be much more competitive this season – have a chance to win every night we go out there."

No. Ht. Yr. Pos.
 2 Christina Block 5-4 12 G
 4 Katelyn Rushton 5-9 11 F
10 Katie Ollenburg 5-6 11 G
12 Allison Radke 5-2 11 G
14 Kallie Fautsch 5-9 9 G
20 Megan Byrne 6-0 12 F
22 Katie Boldt 5-6 10 G
24 Claire Kingsley 5-6 11 G
30 Haley Holtorf 5-6 10 G
32 Amanda Barnaba 5-9 11 C
34 Megan Haynes 5-9 12 F
42 Haley Lenz 5-4 11 G
44 Allyson Sherden 5-11 11 C
50 Nicole Laffrenzen 5-10 11 F
52 Jamie Ruden 6-0 8 C
54 Amila Dzamalija 5-10 10 C
55 Nicole Fautsch 6-0 8 C


Head coach: Terry Heiderscheit, 22nd season (285-242 career record).
Assistant coaches: Phil Schroeder (JV), Mike Fautsch (volunteer), Andy Oldenburg (B squad), Peter Hendricks (freshmen). Student managers: Stephanie Orlowski, Alexa Sundeen.

Nov. 29 -- at Apple Valley*, 7:15 p.m.
Dec. 2 -- at Farmington*
Dec. 6 -- at Century
Dec. 9 -- Northfield*
Dec. 13 -- at Mayo
Dec. 16 -- Mankato East
Dec. 20 -- at Mankato West
Dec. 27-29 -- at Rotary/US Bank tournament*
Jan. 6 -- Faribault
Jan. 10 -- at Minnetonka*
Jan. 13 -- Winona
Jan. 14 -- Edina*
Jan. 17 -- Owatonna
Jan. 20 -- at Austin
Jan. 27 -- Albert Lea
Jan. 31 -- Mayo
Feb. 2 -- Mankato West
Feb. 3 -- at Mankato East
Feb. 10-- at Faribault
Feb. 14-- Century
Feb. 17-- at Winona
Feb. 21 -- at Owatonna
Feb. 24 -- Austin

* Indicates non-conference game
Note: Games start at approximately 7:30 p.m. unless another time is noted.


Last season: Century was competitive in its first season under new head coach Chris Stenzel, who had been an assistant coach with the RCTC women’s program for five seasons. Century finished 8-10 in the Big Nine Conference and tied for fourth with Winona and Mankato West; the Panthers faded late, losing seven of their last nine regular season games, and finished 12-14 overall with a 64-29 loss to Farmington in the second round of the Section 1AAAA tournament. There were six seniors on the team including three starters.

Outlook: Coach Stenzel will be working with a youthful and mostly inexperienced group, with only one senior on the team and just three players with extensive varsity experience. The returning starters are freshman G Kanani Asuncion (8.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3 apg, 1.3 spg) and junior G Morgan Hartman (7.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1 spg), and senior F Bethany Schultz (3.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1 spg). Last season Asuncion became the first eighth-grader to start for a Rochester team since the Miller twins at Mayo in 1992-93. The Panthers aren’t tall; junior Alecia Kupfer is the only six-footer. Stenzel will bring in some new talent from a JV team that went 18-2 last season.

Coach Stenzel: "Despite our youth and inexperience we are very excited about our team and its potential. This group is very athletic, plays hard, and loves to get up and down the court. We will need to work on our rebounding and learning to play at the varsity level, with intensity for 36 minutes. If we improve and grow as a team we feel we can be a factor in the conference race."

No. Ht. Yr. Pos.
 4 Alyssa Lewis 5-6 8 G
10 Stephanie Murray 5-7 11 G
12 Kanani Asuncion 5-10 9 G
14 Myesha Caldwell 5-6 9
20 Alice Zumbrunnen 5-6 11 G
22 Danielle Buettner 5-6 11 G
24 Morgan Hartman 5-9 11 G
32 Laura Branstad 5-8 11 G
34 Deleonne Clark 5-4 11 G
40 Arianna Bland 5-8 9 F
42 Rachel Edvenson 5-9 9 F
44 Elizabeth Dingley 5-9 11 F
45 Sam Mauer 5-9 11 F
50 Morgan Hazelton 5-10 9 F
52 Bethany Schultz 5-10 12 F
53 Alecia Kupfer 6-0 11 F


Head coach:Chris Stenzel, second season (12-14 career record).
Assistant coaches: Mark Kellen (varsity), Libby Cook (B squad), Ryan Carpenter (C squad). Student managers: Brandon Yates, Michael Wagner, Audrey Villeneuve, Olivia Rieck.

Nov. 29 -- Farmington*
Dec. 2 -- at Northfield*, 6 p.m.
Dec. 6 -- John Marshall
Dec. 9 -- at Mankato East
Dec. 13 -- at Mankato West
Dec. 16 -- Faribault
Dec. 20 -- Owatonna
Dec. 27-29 -- at Rotary/US Bank tournament*
Jan. 6 -- at Winona
Jan. 7 -- at Caledonia*, 6 p.m.
Jan. 13 -- at Austin
Jan. 17-- Albert Lea
Jan. 20 -- at Mayo
Jan. 27 -- Mankato East
Jan. 31 -- Mankato West
Feb. 3-- at Faribault
Feb. 6 -- at Owatonna
Feb. 10 -- Winona
Feb. 14 -- John Marshall
Feb. 17 -- Austin
Feb. 21 -- at Albert Lea
Feb. 24 -- Mayo, 5:45 p.m

* Indicates non-conference game
Note: Games start at approximately 7:30 p.m. unless another time is noted.


Last season: Lourdes won the HVL Gold division with an 11-1 mark and then beat Goodhue 53-50 in the Blue-Gold conference championship game. The Eagles finished 26-3 overall with two losses to Stewartville, the last a 56-53 setback in the Section 1AA West subsection final. That defeat snapped an 18-game winning streak. The Eagles had the third-best offense (59.3) in the HVL, and the third-best defense (45.0).

Outlook: Coach Myron Glass begins his 29th season just 14 wins short of 700 for his career, and three defeats before his 100th loss. Which will come first? Three returning starters and a top reserve make this a veteran team, although the Eagles will lack size with no six-footers. Senior guards Hannah Anderson (8.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.2 spg, 1.9 apg) and Steph Helt will lead a quick-strike offense, along with junior F Betsey Daly (7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3 apg, 1.5 spg) if she’s healthy. Daly has been recovering from a pancreas illness and a gallstone that began bothering her at the end of last season; she ran cross country at half-speed to get in shape for basketball. Others with varsity experience are senior guard Alyssa Nelson (3.2 ppg) and sophomore C Sara Hobday. The Lourdes B squad had an unusual losing season last year, finishing 6-17.

Coach Glass: "We will have a faster style of play after having five years of tall and strong centers (featuring Laura Melquist and Shelby Hanssen). We will go to more of a fast-break and pressing style of play. We did some pressing last year but will have to do more this year. We have quick guards who are real good at picking people up full court. Having good outside shooting is our No. 1 key to success, since most teams will have trouble matching our speed."

No. Ht. Yr. Pos.
 5 Stephanie Helt 5-5 12 G
11 Becca Mehling 5-3 11 G
15 Hannah Anderson 5-4 12 G
21 Alyssa Nelson 5-5 12 G
23 Anna Branstad 5-7 9 G
31 Shannon Strickland 5-5 11 G
33 Jessie Alexander 5-10 10 F
35 Gabby Hanssen 5-11 9 F
41 Jennifer Rahman 5-8 11 G
43 Betsey Daly 5-9 11 F
45 Sara Hobday 5-11 10 C


Head coach: Myron Glass, 29th season (686-97 career record).
Assistant coaches: Russ Foster (JV), Tracy Reilly (C squad). Student manager: Kiya Virgin.

Nov. 29 -- at Zumbrota-Mazeppa
Dec. 3 -- at Chatfield*, 6 p.m.
Dec. 10 -- Byron, 6 p.m.
Dec. 13 -- Goodhue
Dec. 16 -- at Pine Island
Dec. 17 -- Kingsland, 6 p.m.
Dec. 20 -- Kenyon-Wanamingo
Dec. 22 -- at Triton
Dec. 27-29 -- at Rotary/US Bank tournament*
Jan. 6 -- Hayfield
Jan. 10 -- at Winona Cotter
Jan. 13 -- at Kasson-Mantorville
Jan. 20 -- La Crescent
Jan. 21 -- Cannon Falls, 6 p.m.
Jan. 27 -- Lake City
Jan. 31 -- Kasson-Mantorville
Feb. 6 -- at La Crescent
Feb. 9 -- at Hayfield
Feb. 10 -- Winona Cotter
Feb. 17 -- at Byron

* Indicates non-conference game
Note: Games start at approximately 7:15 p.m. unless another time is noted.


Last season: Mayo is coming off a banner season in which it won the Big Nine Conference and the Section 1AAAA tournament. Mayo went 16-2 to win the conference, with losses to Century and Mankato East, and beat Farmington 49-35 to win the section title for the ninth time overall and first time since 2006. It was also Angie Meister’s 100th win as coach. Mayo lost 55-28 in the state opener to No. 2 seed Eden Prairie, which finished runner-up to Hopkins. There were five seniors on the team including starters Julie Miller and Anna Hirssig.

Outlook: Mayo looks like a contender again in the conference and section, despite some costly preseason injuries. Returning starters and leading scorers Rachael Doll (11.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.0 spg) and Lauren Ulsh (9.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.9 apg) are a pair of 6-footers and multi-year starters who give the Spartans probably the strongest inside game in the conference. They led Mayo to an average 31-24 rebounding edge in all games last year, and anchored the Big Nine’s second-best defense (44.1 ppg). Other returning players are junior F Katrina Ruedinger (4 ppg, 2.0 apg) who led the team in assists, and 6-0 senior Anna Lundquist (3.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg). But returning starting guard Ann Flesher was lost to a season-ending knee injury in the soccer season, and so was a point guard on Mayo’s B squad team. 

Coach Meister:"We will have continued strength and depth this year on the inside with Doll and Ulsh. We have been plagued with injuries to start the season; in my nine years, (Flesher) is my third varsity point guard to go down to an ACL in soccer. We are seeing some great leadership out of the girls that are stepping into these guard roles. Our goals are high; I think a conference repeat is possible. But right now there’s a lot of work to be done before we get back to that level."

No. Ht. Yr. Pos.
 1 Michelle Hansen 5-8 11 G
 3 Ann Flesher 5-6 11 G
 5 Samantha Miller 5-9 11 G
11 Lexie Patterson 5-7 11 G
13 Shelby Stewart 5-7 10 G
15 Laura Henderson 5-6 10 G
25 Kristen Koeller 5-7 12 G
35 Katrina Ruedinger 5-8 11 G
41 Amber MaCallum 5-10 10 F
43 Anna Lundquist 6-0 12 F
51Rachael Doll 6-0 11 F
53 Lauren Ulsh 6-1 12 C
55 Brittany Moilanen 5-11 11 C


Head coach: Angie Meister, ninth season (100-114 career record).
Assistant coaches: Cathy Ruedinger (JV), Karissa Stubs tad (B squad), Ashley Westergaard (ninth grade), Rachel Svenningson (volunteer). Student manager: Lincoln Ruggeberg.

Dec. 9-- Winona
Dec. 13 -- John Marshall
Dec. 16 -- at Austin
Dec. 20 -- Albert Lea
Dec. 22 -- at Farmington*
Dec. 27-29 -- at Rotary/US Bank tournament*
Jan. 3 -- at Mankato East
Jan. 6 -- at Owatonna
Jan. 13 -- Mankato West
Jan. 17 -- at Faribault
Jan. 20-- Century
Jan. 21 -- at Northfield*
Jan. 27 -- at Winona
Jan. 31 -- at John Marshall
Feb. 3 -- Austin
Feb. 6 -- at Albert Lea
Feb. 10 -- Owatonna
Feb. 14 -- Mankato East
Feb. 17 -- at Mankato West
Feb. 21 -- Faribault
Feb. 24 -- at Century, 5:45 p.m.
* Indicates non-conference game
Note: Games start at approximately 7:30 p.m. unless another time is noted.

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