Although the number of players barely reached double digits Sunday evening, the South Tama County girls basketball teams remember the season that ended last month.
Only 11 STC players attended the banquet Sunday evening. However, there was plenty of food and reason to celebrate. All three teams finished the season with winning records.
The South Tama freshman girls' squad finished its season with an 8-4 record after winnings its first five games. The team also had a few sophomores playing on it, because there were only six freshmen out for basketball this year.
Madie Bacon led the team in scoring and rebounds. Bacon averaged 11.83 points and 4.75 rebounds per contest for the Trojans. She also recorded 24 steals and 13 assists to lead the Trojans. Tieranny Keahna also averaged 8.33 points per game for STC. Dani Stubbs averaged 6.16 points and 4.25 rebounds per contest.
On the junior varsity level, the Trojans struggled down the stretch, losing its final three games. However, the JV Lady Trojans still finished the season with a 9-6 record. The JV squad swept East Marshall, BCLUW and South Hardin.
Leading the way in scoring was once again Bacon. She averaged 8.67 points per game on the JV team. Samantha Betz also averaged 5.53 points per contest for the Lady Trojans. Stubbs and Samantha Holtz were the two leading rebounders, each averaging 4.73 and 4.00 rebounds per game, respectively. Emily Martin and Bacon were the leaders in steals with 46 and 40 on the season.
"I think that everyone that plays would like to have a winning season next year," coach Marsha Keahna said to her returning players Sunday evening. "However, you can't achieve that type of goal without some dedication, effort and work during the offseason. The best time to work on those skills is during the summer. I believe everyone can find time to shoot 100 shots a week or work on individual skills."
The STC varsity Lady Trojans finished the season 11-11, after losing four of their first five games as they adjusted to a new coach and a new line-up. The Lady Trojans swept East Marshall, South Hardin, BCLUW and Gladbrook-Reinbeck, while splitting with rival Grinnell.
Senior Kaleigh Sieck led the Lady Trojans in scoring as she averaged 16.8 points per game during her final season. Sieck also shot the highest free throw percentage on the squad, averaging 75.2 percent from the foul line.
"Kaleigh had a tremendous season," assistant coach Larry Rohach said. "When we needed big shots or offense, Kaleigh was there. I'd even get mad sometimes, because she'd be open behind the three-point line and pass the ball. That isn't what we wanted and we'd tell her that."
Seniors Jade Rohach and Megan Wanatee were the next highest scoring players on the varsity team, as they almost reached double figure averages for the season. Rohach averaged 9.7 points, with Wanatee just behind at 9.3 points per game for the Lady Trojans. Rohach also grabbed 6.72 rebounds per contest, while Wanatee averaged 4.27 assists per game.
"I always wanted more out of Jade, too," L. Rohach said. "If she touched a ball and didn't get it, she should have had it. That's my expectations. There might have been a arguments at home after the games."
Coach Keahna handed out certificates and letters to the varsity girls who earned their varsity letter this winter. Those earning the letter were Regina Balderas, Shelby Bradley, Erin Clayton, Sam Holtz, Sherri Marland, Emily Martin, Rohach, Sieck, Paige Van Dyk, Trisha Walz, Megan Wanatee and Hailee Weiss. Bradley and Marland were the other seniors on the STC squad.
A handful of players also earned an NICL All-Academic Team honor. They were Balderas, Bradley, Holtz, Marland, Martin, Rohach, Van Dyk, Walz and Weiss. To earn the honor, they must maintain a 3.3 composite GPA and earn a varsity letter.
"That's not easy to do," Keahna said. "I'm very proud of all of these young ladies for earning that honor."
Keahna also added a couple comments about each player during the banquet.
"Erin is my rubber band girl," Keahna said. "I have to find a way to make her not bend her knees every time she gets the ball. That's going to be our thing to work on this summer.
"Sherri never complained one bit, ever," Keahna said. "She was always the biggest cheerleader for this group, knowing that she had a role to play and knowing that she'd only get a couple minutes every two or three games. What do you call that? Integrity and character. If we had five or six Sherris, I'd take them in a heartbeat."
Keahna also commented on Van Dyk's thoughts on weight lifting during the season.
"We're going to work on Paige's left hand this summer," Keahna said. "I just want to let you know that Paige complained about weight lifting every time we went. I just kept telling her, 'Your dad will like it, because it's going to improve your golf swing.' But her cohort, Trisha Walz, would encourage her, too. Or they would go do Pilates before lifting weights."
Both STC coaches reflected on the season and talked about the future. They reminded the players that working on their skills during the summer will make themselves and the team better next year. It was their main point of emphasis moving forward.
"If we want to move out of the NICL and into the WaMaC with a winning season, with our head held higher knowing that we're facing tougher competition and we're better for it, everybody has to decide now what your priorities are," Keahna said. "It's not that you can't do the other things, but you have to give basketball some time. There has to be give and take from everybody."