3/18/2011 12:22:00 PM Conference title for girl's hoops team highlights winter sports season
The first-ever Great Northern Conference girl's basketball trophy will make a welcome addition to the Lakeland Union High School trophy case.
The team that led the GNC with a 10-2 overall record was awarded some individual recognition when head coach Kellen Anderson and senior forward Larenda Maulson brought home the league's top honors as coach and player of the year.
Maulson was the conference's leading scorer this season, helping the Lady T-Birds to a regional final berth where they fell to rival Medford.
In addition to Maulson, first team honors also went to fellow post-mate Gerry Ann Mann who coupled nicely opposite Maulson this season.
Making the first team with the two Lakeland seniors were guard Lisa Karau from Mosinee, Katie Messman of Medford and Brianna Jorgensen from Rhinelander.
On the second team was Amanda Kessler and Kim Lindner of Antigo, Nikki Mai of Northland Pines, Amy Berry of Rhinelander and Anna Sudbury of Tomahawk.
Lakeland had two representatives on the honorable mention squad as sophomore Jamie Lee planted a seed for the next two seasons with designation on the list. She was joined by Lakeland senior Carly Theuerkauf who, though missing late in the season with injury, was one of the GNC's top three-point shooters.
Other members of the honorable mention squad were Maddie Sawdey and Lindsey Bucki of Medford, Bri Bittner of Mosinee and Bridgette Darton of Northland Pines.
Had it not been for his 6-10 counterpart in Mosinee, it's likely Matt Iverson would have gotten credit as the best big man in the GNC this season.
Kyle Stankowski showed why colleges began getting busier with the recruiting this year as the post player was elected player of the year in the league.
Coach Jesse Shaw of Antigo received his second consecutive coach of the year honors as his 11-1 Red Robins squad claimed their second Great Northern Conference title in a row.
Iverson's talents under the basket didn't go unnoticed as he was the T-Birds' lone representative to the All-GNC first team. He was joined by Andreas Ezer and Jake Erickson of Antigo, Stankowski and Taylor Reinhardt of Medford.
Brandon Howard was honored with second team recognition after the senior was the fourth leading rebounder in conference play with 6.1 per game and was the fifth leading scorer, averaging 12.7 points.
Stankowski led both categories, averaging a double-double, 22.3 points and 11.4 rebounds per game.
Joining Lakeland's Howard on the second team were Dylan Smith of Rhinelander, Jordan Christianson of Medford, Ivan Flannery of Antigo and Peter Sharrow of Northland Pines.
Justin Cobb was Lakeland's lone rep on the honorable mention squad as the junior point guard joined Jeremy Gould of Mosinee, Taylor Ridderbusch of Northland Pines, Troy White and Cale Henke of Rhinelander and Andy Firkus of Tomahawk on that squad.
Lakeland finished in second place in the league standings with a 9-3 record, One game ahead of Mosinee (8-4).
It was difficult to find a better person with the puck in his hands this season than Lakeland's Bruno Borowczyk.
The senior forward rewrote the Lakeland T-Birds' record book, posting himself atop the all-time goals scored, assists and points columns with another outstanding season.
The conference coaches took notice, as well, as he was honored with first team designation after the T-Birds skated to a fourth place finish inside the GNC.
Borowczyk was the conference's individual leader in scoring, posting 38 points to beat out Tyler Donaldson of Waupaca, who was second overall with 33 points.
His 21 goals in 14 games was tied for the league lead with Bryce Hladovcak of Mosinee. Borowczyk's 17 assists in 14 games were third best in conference behind Donaldson and Sam Hein of Tomahawk.
Joining Borowczyk on the league's first team was player of the year and first team goalie Wade Michalski of Mosinee, forwards Kyle Geiger of Antigo and Bjorn Asher of Waupaca and defensemen Craig Swan of Tomahawk and Jevret Giese of Mosinee.
The T-Birds were snubbed from the second team, but made up for it with honorable mention team members as goalie Rory Will, forward Jared Dern along with Tanner Litvinoff and Austin Oungst were all honored.
Will was fourth in the league in goals against averaged as he posted a 3.24. His 0.900 save percentage was second, behind only Michalski.
Oungst was the GNC's top scoring defenseman this season, posting 23 points over the course of his 13 games played. With nine goals scored and 14 assists, he was also the league leader in powerplay goals with five - tying him with Hladovcak, Donaldson and Borowczyk.
Dern was one of the league's best forwards as well as he finished the conference season with 26 points - eighth best overall. He was seventh overall in goals scored with 13 and 10th in assists with 13.
Litvinoff didn't do a lot of work with his offense, but defensively he anchored the league's fourth best scheme and the conference's best penalty kill special teams line who got rid of 85.7 percent of minutes in the powerplay without a score.
There was little doubt that the Lady T-Birds' season inside the Great Northern Conference was its best to date as the program goes.
Finishing with a 5-9 league record - in the middle of the pack - was a testament to head coach Rick Zelm and his team continuing to grow on both ends of the ice.
No one helped that progression more this season, and in the prior two, than senior forward Emma Arnold. She was recognized for her hard work and dedication by being Lakeland's only representative to the All-GNC honorable mention team.
First team honors went to Hilary Drake of the D.C. Everest-Wausau West-Wausau East-Mosinee co-op, Winter Nielsen of Northland Pines, Abbey Besler and Paige Johnson (POY) of Marshfield, Kendall Nelson of Tomahawk and Makayla Lee of Stevens Point-Wisconsin Rapids co-op.
Nelson was the league's top point scorer with 20. She posted a whopping 16 goals in 14 games to go along with her four assists.
Lakeland, as a team, was fifth in overall scoring, averaging 2.1 goals per game. They were sixth overall in team defense, giving up 4.6 goals per league contest.
The Antigo Red Robins' appearance at the WIAA State meet in Wisconsin Rapids was no fluke
One of the perennial powers in the northern half of Wisconsin, they deservedly gobbled up all of the first team individual and team honors inside the inaugural season of the Great Northern Conference.
Caitlyn Fleischman, in particular, helped lead the way for Antigo as she was first team all-GNC with first place finishes in the beam, floor exercise, bars and all-around.
The only place in which she was trumped came in the vault with teammate Sammy Stimac as the league's best.
Marissa Hartzheim represented Lakeland well throughout the year and was rewarded with an honorable mention on the uneven bars with her 7.750 score at the conference meet in Medford.
Ending the season strong, her seventh place finish at the sectional in Antigo nearly earned her a berth at the state meet. She was Lakeland's lone representative on the all-conference teams.
Curtis Rich, over the past four seasons, has become one of the most recognizable faces in Lakeland athletics. And it's gone a long way with what he has done on the wrestling mat.
The senior 145-pounder was a perfect 5-0 at the GNC tourney this past February, fueling another tourney run that, unfortunately, halted at sectionals.
He helped a Lakeland team that went 2-3 in conference duals this season, finishing above .500 overall - which head coach Adam Bremer had set as a team goal at the start of the season.
Joining Rich on the all-GNC first team was junior Luke Lang.
A prodigy at 171 pounds, Lang made plenty of noise in just his first season with the program.
He rolled through the weight class at conference, pinning all five of his opponents to take the overall title. He then put his strength to good use as he took a second place finish at the WIAA regional and qualified with Rich and teammate Ricky Neri for the sectional tournament.
Neri was one of two Lakeland grapplers to earn a spot on the second team as he was joined by Jordan Goessl who wrestled at 119 pounds. Neri went 4-1 at the GNC meet, losing only to eventual champion Grant Bushon of Medford.
J.D. Popenhagen received honorable mention status, finishing third overall at the GNC tourney at 125 pounds. Senior Trent Bryant was also named. He finished third overall at the tourney with a 3-2 record at 189 pounds.
Wrestler of the year went to Payton DuPlayee of Tomahawk. His head coach Bob Garrou was named coach of the year along with Tran Brooks of Medford.
All-WVC swim team
Andrew Nielsen was the best swimmer in northern Wisconsin this season and it showed as he once again ended a fine year with two berths at the state meet in Madison.
The Lakeland senior was honored by the Wisconsin Valley Conference with swimmer of the year honors as he was first team all-WVC in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke. He set new conference marks in both events at the Valley meet.
He helped the team finish sixth overall in the league this season. They grabbed dual meet points in wins over Medford and Tomahawk while garnering six team points at the WVC meet to finish with eight.
Wausau East again grabbed top team honors with 26 points. They were followed by Stevens Point (22), Marshfield (16), Wisconsin Rapids (16), Rhinelander (8), Lakeland (8) and Tomahawk (2).
Doug Etten may be reached via email at email@example.com.