New look Rosholt girls basketball ready to challenge
Portage County Gazette
By John Kemmeter
Under first-year head coach Stacey Krogwold, the Rosholt High School girls basketball team will look to contend in the Central Wisconsin Conference (CWC) South this season.
The Hornets brought back 10 of 13 players from their roster last season, when they finished 10-13 overall after a loss in the WIAA Division 5 Regional Quarterfinals.
“I coached the JV squad last year, so I’ve been around these girls a little bit, and I know their strengths and I know their weaknesses,” said Krogwold. “And I’m looking to get the team moving and make good choices, and we’re running some new plays to try to pick up our game.
“So we’ll see how it will all work out for us,” she said.
The Hornets returned their top four scorers from a year ago in Second Team All-CWC-South senior guard Kenzie Stalter, senior Ashley Studzinski, senior Taylor Krogwold and junior Jenna Trzebiatowski.
Also part of the rotation this season have been senior forward Justine Ganski, sophomore guard Amber Studzinski, senior forward Anna Lorbiecki, sophomore forward Sophie Lorbiecki and junior Kailen Smerchek, while senior Anissa Lyshik and sophomores Logan Krogwold, Olivia Gagas and Megan Pierce are in the mix for playing time.
“We have six seniors, and three of them have been on varsity since their freshmen year, so they’ve been around it a fair amount, playing at this level,” said coach Krogwold. “And that only helps us out.
“And we’ve got some good depth on the bench coming up from the younger kids, too,” she said.
Rosholt tipped off this season with a 41-34 loss at Suring Nov. 15, and came back with wins at Gresham (73-24) and Tigerton (51-19), before a 56-53 loss to Manawa in its home opener Friday, Nov. 30.
The Hornets started the conference season at Pacelli Tuesday, Dec. 4, where they trailed 5-4 early in the first half, before they used a 16-7 run to build a 20-12 lead with 6:41 to play in the first half.
Rosholt maintained a 27-19 lead with 3:32 left in the first half, before Pacelli used a 7-2 spurt to pull within 29-26 with 10 seconds to go in the half, before Sophie Lorbiecki hit a three-pointer from the corner that bounced up and in at the buzzer to give the Hornets a 32-26 lead at halftime.
“We came into this game kind of nervous, because last year we knew Pacelli had a super-strong team and we got crushed twice,” said Stalter. “But I thought after the first half we felt pretty confident, and it all came down to a couple of last-minute shots.”
Rosholt extended its lead to 44-37 with 8:10 remaining in the game, before it went cold from the field, as Pacelli used a 12-0 run to build a 49-44 lead with 1:09 left.
Trzebiatowski answered with a three-point play with 57.1 seconds to go, and following a Pacelli turnover, Taylor Krogwold knocked down a baseline jumper to tie the game at 49-49 with 44.4 second to play.
Pacelli made a pair of free throws to take a 51-49 lead with 36.3 seconds left, and after a Rosholt turnover, Pacelli missed a pair of free throws with 11.5 seconds to play.
Stalter grabbed the rebound and drove the length of the court, but her runner in the lane was off the mark, and Pacelli (3-0, 1-0) pulled down the rebound to close out a 51-49 win.
“We had a good start, and we got some key players in some foul trouble, so we had to re-adjust,” said coach Krogwold. “And while I have a decent bench, we just could not keep up with some of the bigger inside girls of Pacelli.
“So that’s what kind of took us out of it,” she said.
Trzebiatowski scored 11 points to lead Rosholt, while Ganski had 10 points and five rebounds, and Amber Studzinski totaled nine points, eight rebounds and four steals.
“These girls put their hearts out there playing defense, and never let up,” said coach Krogwold. “They kept on going at it when they fell down a little bit, and made it a real exciting game, so there’s nothing to hang their heads about.
“Are there little, stupid mistakes out there?” she said. “Yeah, but it happens, and you’ve got to move on and keep going at it. And that’s what they did.”
Rosholt (2-3, 0-1) will be at home to take on Almond-Bancroft at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, and then travel to play at Wild Rose at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, before it hosts Port Edwards at 7:30 p.m. Friday Dec. 14.
Last season the Hornets finished fifth in the CWC South, as Tri-County (12-0) won the Conference Title over Pacelli (9-3), Port Edwards (8-4), Wild Rose (6-6), Rosholt (5-7), Almond-Bancroft (2-10) and Pittsville (0-12).
“We’ll have some good, decent competition within the CWC South,” said coach Krogwold. “Wild Rose is going to be quick, they’re always looking at putting their good, old full-court press on, so hopefully we can go at them and handle that.
“Port Edwards will bring back a couple of their senior girls that can really put up the points on the board, and Pacelli is one of the better teams in our conference,” she said. “So there’s some work cut out for us.”
Stalter said that even though a lot of the girls have played together for a while, it still seems new on the court, with a new coach and new plays.
“As a team though, I feel like we click a lot better than years before,” said Stalter. “It’s just the fundamentals that we have to get down now.”
“We’re trying to have them have a successful season,” said coach Krogwold. “We had a tight game on Friday too, where we only lost by three, and now tonight it was only by two, so hopefully we can turn that around and get them on top in these tough games.
“The goal is to have them have some fun, and try to be on the positive side on our conference,” she said. “And be looked at as one of those teams that, ‘you can’t just overlook Rosholt.’”