MAYVILLE — Head coach Liz Cook led the Mayville prep girls basketball team to records of 13-11 overall and 7-5 in the Flyway Conference a season ago, good for third place.
Cook sees the Flyway as being strong at the top once again.
“It is really going to be tough,” Cook said. “Any team could end up on top.”
Laconia made it extra tough last season, going undefeated in conference with a 22-2 overall record before losing to Howards Grove by three points in the regional finals. But the Spartans were loaded with nine seniors last year — including Caitlin Tipton, who led the team with 17.2 points and 1.8 assists a game.
Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs was right behind Laconia in conference with a record of 9-3 and an 18-8 overall record. The Ledgers were led by Anja Smith, who finished as the conference’s leading scorer at 20.6 points a game to go along with 8.3 rebounds. She graduated last year and is now playing at NCAA Division II Grand Valley (Mich.) State University.
Mayville will be battling a height deficiency much of the season, as outside of 6-footer Syd Schultz, no other Cardinals player stands taller than 5-8.
Schultz led the team last season with 11.2 points and a conference-best 9.9 rebounds a game. She is averaging a double-double (11.3 points, 10 rebounds) through three games this season, helping the Cardinals to a 2-1 start.
“We’ll be short, but we had a lot of willpower and resilience in us,” Cook said after the Cardinals lost to Waupun to open the season. Mayville demonstrated its resilience in that game, cutting a 20-point second-half deficit to six.
“We are quick and relentless,” Cook said, “which we need to take advantage of right away.”
Since losing the season opener, Mayville has won two straight, holding off Columbus’ late run to claim a 53-50 victory and then beating Campbellsport 57-43.
The early success has been because of Schultz’s great start and Carly Schroeder averaging 10 points and six rebounds a game.
Schroeder has upped her game after averaging just 7 points a game a year ago, as has Micaela Leuhring, who has jumped from 4.2 points a game last year to 8 points per contest so far this season.
Cook will also likely rely on Kennah Konrad, Rachel Wagner, Whitney Liegl and Amber Schraunagel this season.
Regardless of how things ultimately unfold, Cook is confident her team will compete hard, night in, night out — something she saw evidence of in the season-opening loss to Waupun.
“I think it’s a promising season,” she said after that game.