Lady Warriors eye improvement for 2015-16 basketball season

The 2014-15 season was a struggle for the Lady Warriors. Despite a quick (2-2) start, Meskwaki dropped 13 of their final 16 contests including a speedy first round exit in substate en route to a 5th place conference finish. The injury bug offered no help to the Lady Warriors as a leg injury side-lined freshman guard Delicia Guevara for the latter half of the season. Shi’Ann Ducheneaux followed by suffering a scary head injury and the icing on the cake came when center Kailee Pushetonequa tore her ACL in the substate game at Belle Plaine. Despite the injuries and low win total, the Lady Warriors have plenty to be optimistic about heading into the 2015-16 season.

With a lineup full of inexperience, sophomore point guard Grace Tahahwah picked up right where she left off her freshman year by carrying the Meskwaki workload. Tahahwah finished the season leading the team in almost every individual category including points per game (12.4), rebounds (106), and steals (58). As she enters her upper-classman years, Tahahwah will need help if the team is to get back to its winning ways. That help could come from a pair of sisters that saw heavy varsity minutes last season. As just a freshman, Delicia Guevara put up a strong half a season by averaging (5.2ppg) and playing solid defense. Delicia’s season ending injury thrusted her older sister Marcelena into the starting lineup where she shot a respectable 33% from behind the arc. With varsity mainstay Shyannon Wolf now playing collegiately at MCC, the Guevara’s look to be in good position to join Tahahwah in the starting back-court. As for down low, the Lady Warriors used a four player rotation at the forward and center positions. Kailee Pushetonequa will look to retain her center position, offering the most height on a team that severely lacks it. Joining Pushetonequa down low could be a combination of seniors Sara Ikebe and Shi’Ann Ducheneaux.

Much like the boys, the Colo-Nesco girl’s captured the Iowa Star-South Conference title with a (20-1) regular season record. The Royals earned themselves a ticket to the state tournament only to be demolished by the eventual 1A State Champions Newell-Fonda, by a score of 70-42. The Royals lost 4/5 starters from last season including all conference point guard Shayla Dean, thus evening out the conference. North Tama looks poised to improve on an already successful (20-5) 2014-15 season with the return of the twin towers down low in Abbie Schafer and Madison Howard. The Dons of Don Bosco could be primed for conference contention as they return a strong senior trio lead by center Erin McFadden. A disastrous (2-10) start was countered with a (5-4) finish to help give the GMG Wolverines optimism heading into the season with a strong starting core of juniors. Lastly, Waterloo Christian recited in the cellar last season due to an absolute struggle to score (27.0ppg). For any shot at contention, Allison Mazzarella and the Ambrecht sisters will need to have huge seasons.

The Lady Warriors will get underway a week before the boys when they host the Colo-Nesco Royals at 8:00 on Tuesday, November 24th. Royals shooting guard Makaelyn Neuendorf comes in as the conferences leading returning scorer from last season with Meskwaki’s Grace Tahahwah coming in at second.