by Steve Peterson
The West Sioux senior class of girls basketball players, Bailey VanDenBerg, Carissa Anderson, Jade Lynn Vlotho and Courtney Hummel wish to end their careers with some memorable accomplishments, of course, adding to the highlights by contributing to last season’s 25-2 State Semifinalist squad.
A 65-32 wire-to-wire win against Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn in non-conference basketball play showed these Lady Falcons still have a lot of fight left in them and one should never count them out. Guards Anderson and VanDenBerg combined for 27 points in the win Jan. 28 at home.
Anderson scored 19 points while Vlotho led the way with 20.
VanDenBerg had eight, and all players contributed to the single-best showing on offense as West Sioux improved to 12-7 overall record.
“Anderson is a very good ball handler who takes care of the ball well and has good, quick hands and is a good shooter,” said West Sioux Coach Dennis Weerheim.
“We got off to a good, aggressive start,” said Anderson.
“Last year was great when we went to state and a lot of the crowd still follows us. We (seniors) all wanted to step up. I’ve enjoyed it a lot; it’s been fun,” said Anderson, like VanDenBerg, a three-year starter.
VanDenBerg won the most-unlikely-shot-to-go-in award. Although she had about one more second than what the clock showed due to a technical problem, VanDenBerg heaved an off-balance three-pointer, shot-put style. It found nothing but net after it cleared the rim, barely.
“I saw the clock wind down and I shot it,” she said.
“There was no arch to the shot at all,” said Weerheim.
West Sioux led 18-3 to start the second quarter thanks to intense defense. VanDenBerg’s unlikely basket put the Lady Falcons up 32-12 at halftime.
“It gave us some momentum going into the second half,” said Weerheim.
Anderson had a slightly less memorable shot, a banked three-pointer for her final points of the night for a 59-27 lead.
Vlotho has topped the 300-points mark with 315 — 18.5 points per game — on 121-for-234 all field goals made and 73-for-120 free throws. She had 156 rebounds, and the school rebound record as well as 20 blocked shots.
VanDenBerg and Anderson are neck-and-neck for second place in team scoring. VanDenBerg tallied 128 points, 7.5 points per game. She has 31 assists and 42 steals.
Anderson was at 124 points, 7.3 points per game.She has 43 rebounds and 43 assists and 48 steals.
The foursome of seniors has enjoyed a regional finalist status, the regional championship last year and the first trip to Class 1A state tournament, a quarterfinal round win there, and a total of 49 wins in three years. They were honored at Feb. 5’s Senior Night against Gehlen Catholic to close the regular season.
West Sioux was assigned a first round bye Feb. 7 so it will wait until Feb. 12 to start the Class 1A regional here. And if they can keep the late-season run going well, it may be another solid post-season run. The Eagles and Lady Falcons may meet again as the MMC-Remsen-St. Mary’s winner will come to Hawarden.
Other statistics of note for the Lady Falcons:
Rylee Negaard had scored 92 points, 5.4 points per game on 35-for-101 all field goal attempts; 4-for-10 three-point field goal attempts; 18-for-32 free throw attempts. The sophomore starter has 70 rebounds, 36 assists and 40 steals.
Sophomore Jenna Rehder had scored 72 points, 4.2 points per game on 27-for-74 all field goal attempts, 9-for-36 three-point field goal attempts, 9-for-19 free throw attempts. She had 70 rebounds, 36 assists and 40 steals.
Sophomore Callie Schmidt had 38 points, 2.5 points per game on 15-for-40 all field goal attempts, 8-for-25 free throw attempts, 73 rebounds for second on the team, 10 assists, 16 steals and seven blocked shots for second.
Hummel continued to play hard in her final season with 14 points scored, 13 rebounds and five assists and steals.
Up and comers are freshmen Allyson Westra and Amanda Mace.