The Woodbine girls had a special season on the basketball court a year ago in winning 20 of 24 games and getting to within two games of the state tournament in Class 1A.
Expectations continue to rise entering the 2022-23 winter campaign, as the Tigers return eight letter winners, including four starters from last year’s club that went 13-3 (second place) in the Rolling Valley Conference behind champion Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton.
Guiding Woodbine for the 12th consecutive year is Ryan Coenen, who will be joined on the bench by assistant coaches Nick Putnam and Taylor Frederick.
“I think we’ve got an opportunity this season to do some very special things. The girls are focused on the big picture and have the mindset to get better each and every day,” commented Coenen.
“We’ve got a very strong group returning from a year ago. We also have a solid freshmen class to add to the mix, so I’m very excited for this year to get rolling,” added Coenen, whose squad a year ago saw its season end in a 69-45 loss to Remsen-St. Mary’s in a regional semifinal contest.
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The four returning starters are senior point guard Nicole Sherer, senior forward Addison Erickson, junior forward Nicole Hoefer and sophomore point guard Charlie Pryor.
All four starters back on the court were all-conference performers last winter.
Charlie Pryor averaged 13.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game a year ago, while leading the team with 66 three-point baskets en route to earning first-team all-conference honors.
She also was among the team leaders in assists with 88 (3.7 p/g) and steals with 86 (3.6 p/g).
Erickson averaged 12.8 points and 3.0 rebounds per game last winter. She also drained 32 three-point shots and had 55 assists with 46 steals en route to taking home second-team all-conference praise.
Nicole Hoefer earned honorable mention all-league honors after averaging 10.9 points and 4.6 boards per contest a year ago.
She also sank 16 three-point baskets and finished with 67 steals and 44 assists.
Sherer had a big season a year ago, averaging 7.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. She also led the team with 163 assists (6.8 p/g) and 99 steals (4.1 p/g) en route to landing a spot on the all-conference first team.
Other veterans back for Coenen are senior forward Kortney O’Day, junior post player Amanda Newton, junior forward Addison Murdock and sophomore post player Danyelle Steinkuehler.
O’Day averaged 2.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per game a year ago.
Newton averaged 5.2 points and 5.4 boards per contest. Murdock averaged 3.2 points and 2.6 boards per game, while Steinkuehler netted 3.0 points and brought down 2.0 boards per game last winter.
Promising newcomers, according to Coenen, are freshmen Katy Pryor, Taylor Hoefer and Isabell Crook.
“We have the ability to put two point guards on the floor at any moment,” noted Coenen in reference to Charlie Pryor and Sherer.
“Pryor is one the top shooters in the state and Sherer has the quickest hands in the conference,” Coenen said.
21 — at AHST/Walnut; 29 — at CAM
2 vs. Cherokee; 5 — vs. East Mills; 6 — at Boyer Valley; 9 — at Coon Rapids-Bayard; 13 — vs. Ar-We-Va; 16 — vs. Paton-Churdan; 20 — vs. Glidden-Ralston
3 — at Exira/EH-K; 6 — at West Harrison; 10 — vs. CAM; 12 — vs. Maple Valley/A-O/CO-U; 17 — vs. Boyer Valley; 20 — vs. Coon Rapids-Bayard; 24 — at Ar-We-Va; 26 — at Fremont-Mills; 27 — at Paton-Churdan; 31 — at Glidden-Ralston
3 — vs. Exira/EH-K; 6 — vs. West Harrison; 7 — at Westwood Sloan