With a new season swinging into high gear, one doesn’t have to go far to see some talented basketball players in action. The area is packed with high-quality athletes who can really fill the stat sheet.
Here is a look at 10 of the best area girls basketball players. The players appear on the list in alphabetical order. The is list does not include anyone from Portage, as the Warriors will be featured in the Daily Register’s Badger North Conference Tipoff special section that is publishing on Thursday.
Lexi Brakebush, So., Westfield
Brakebush has developed into a scoring threat for a Pioneers team that was 5-19 last season. After scoring less than 2 points a game in limited varsity action last season as a freshman, Brakebush is showing she can be relied on as more of a scorer this season. In Westfield’s first two games this season, Brakebush scored in double figures both times, including 19 points in a 54-45 season-opening loss to Wild Rose.
Callie Brouette, Jr., Pardeeville
The 5-foot-5 guard was a second-team All-Trailways West Conference pick last season for the Bulldogs when she averaged 8.5 points and 4.2 assists per game. Through four games this season, Brouette’s offensive numbers are trending upward thanks to a 16-point, seven-assist game in a 57-29 win over Dodgeland on Nov. 27.
Josie DeLapp, Jr., Pardeeville
Like Brouette, DeLapp was a second-team All-Trailways West pick last year for Pardeeville when she recorded four double-doubles and averaged 8.7 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. The 5-10 DeLapp should be in store for another big season after scoring a career-high 25 points in her team’s 59-49 loss to Waterloo on Nov. 19.
Chloe DeYoung, Sr., Cambria-Friesland
The 5-9 DeYoung was a rebounding machine for the Hilltoppers last year, when she earned honorable mention in the Trailways West. She pulled down nine boards per game a year ago on her way to recording five double-doubles. Expect DeYoung to once again lead the way for a Toppers team looking to improve on last season’s five wins.
Alana Gilles, Sr., Lodi
The 5-10 Gilles was the Player of the Year in the Capitol North Conference last season, when she averaged 17.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Her 29 points helped lead the Blue Devils to a 54-49 victory over Madison Edgewood in the regional semifinals last February. With Gilles leading the way, Lodi is off to a 4-1 start this season, and could be the favorites to win the Capitol North.
Katie Gulbranson, Sr., Montello
Last season as a junior, Gulbranson led the Trailways West in rebounding with 12.5 boards per game, while also serving as top scoring threat with 9.4 points per game. The center, who was a second-team All-Trailways West pick a year ago, is off to a sizzling start to her senior season, averaging a double-double through two games, including a 15-point, 15-rebound effort in a 72-42 win over Almond-Bancroft.
Jordyn Hutzler, Sr., Rio
The season is still young, but Hutzler has been the most prolific scorer in the Trailways West this season, averaging 25.4 points per contest. The 5-7 guard was a first-team all-conference selection last year and scored her 1,000th career point in a 68-24 win over Hartland University Lake School on Nov. 20. Hutzler is a big reason the Vikings are off to a 5-0 start this season, with one of those wins being a 66-62 victory over perennial power Barneveld on Nov. 27.
Hailey Kaenel, Sr., Montello
The point guard has been nothing short of awesome to start the season for Montello, averaging 20.5 points through two games. Kaenel was pretty good last year as a junior too, averaging 13.1 points per game for a Montello team that won just three games. With Kaenel running the show, expect Montello to be much improved in 2018-19.
Jaden Kolinski, So., Lodi
Last year as freshman, the 5-9 Kolinski emerged as a scoring threat, averaging 10.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game for the Blue Devils on her way to earning second-team All-Capitol North Conference honors. In Lodi’s 50-48 loss to Monona Grove on Nov. 27, Kolinski scored 18 points.
Hanna Walters, Sr., Poynette
The 5-6 Walters was a first-team All-Capitol North Conference pick last season when she scored 20 or more points six times and averaged 10.5 points for the Pumas. Walters has continued where she left off last season, averaging 14.3 points through three games this season, including a 22-point night in a 52-45 win over Belleville in the season opener. Look for another big year for Walters under the direction of first-year coach Stephen Maselter.
Lauryn Milne, So., Lodi; Jaylynn Morter, So., Poynette; Rhianna Walzer, Sr., Lodi; McKenna Dillman, Sr., Westfield; Rylie Mussehl, Sr., Pardeeville; Adeline Hutzler, So., Rio; McKenzie Sampson, Jr., Rio; Morgan Jones, Jr., Cambria-Friesland.