by Steve Peterson
West Sioux girls’ basketball team hopes to gain a new identity for itself for the efforts of 2012-2013 after a State Semifinalist appearance and a 25-2 record last season.
While several talented seniors graduated, the Lady Falcons are working hard on the new season which gets underway Nov. 20 at Akron-Westfield. The first game is the junior varsity contest at 6 p.m. followed by the varsity game.
“We have some decent height as our strongest strength — Jade Lynn Vlotho is back for her senior year. We also have some decent perimeter players who are figuring out the expectations,” said West Sioux Coach Dennis Weerheim.
The talented senior class not only led the Lady Falcons to Des Moines but the team won a quarterfinal round game, a 54-43 win against Lynnville-Sully and a 58-57 win over Newell-Fonda for a trip to state. WS was ousted by North Mahaska 46-38 in the state semifinals in Des Moines.
Vlotho is back with seniors Bailey Van Den Berg, Carissa Anderson and Courtney Hummel with Anderson and Van Den Berg having the most playing experience after Vlotho. Sophomore Rylee Negaard is penciled in at a perimeter spot.
“The first week has gone well with the girls all working hard. It’s always fun to get going,” said Weerheim.
The Lady Falcons are a little shy in numbers of players with 14 on the squad before the season’s start.
Vlotho, a 6-foot post player, scored 431 points in 2011-2012, averaging 16.0 points per game as she shot 49.2 percent from the field and 67.7 percent from the free-throw line. Vlotho had more than 200 rebounds, nearly 20 steals, and 34 blocked shots.
Anderson scored 198 points, 7.3 points per game, making 37.7 percent of her shots and 60 percent of her free-throw tries. She also had 53 rebounds, 82 assists for second to Weerheim, 56 steals and 13 blocked shots.
“We had three scrimmage games in Sioux City and I’d say they showed that defense was what we need to work on,” said Weerheim.
As for the War Eagle Conference, where the Lady Falcons finished second a season ago, Weerheim said Hinton is considered the early-season favorite but the rest is there for the taking.