Fox Valley Association Preview
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After a few days out of town, I’m excited to get back to talking about some conferences for the 23-24 basketball season. Among the FRCC and FVA, we have a state champion, a sectional champion, a sectional finalist, and multiple…
After a few days out of town, I’m excited to get back to talking about some conferences for the 23-24 basketball season. Among the FRCC and FVA, we have a state champion, a sectional champion, a sectional finalist, and multiple regional champions. We have plenty to talk about, and we’ll start with the FRCC and end the day with the FVA.
The Rockets could be the best team in the state this season. It helps to have one of the best players in the country, and now gold medal winner and Uconn commit,, but you don’t win as many games as Neenah has without having multiple high-level players. The x-factor in this upcoming season will be the return of . She’s a multi-sport athlete who’s a soccer kid at heart, but her presence around the basket made the Rockets elite, in my opinion. Her double-double as a sophomore against Hortonville helped end that elite Polar Bear groups season. A few other names will be in the backcourt, which will skew small, in and . The Klesmit name is well-known in basketball circles in this state thanks to her older brothers who came through Neenah before her, but she’s building quite a legacy of her own. Her fellow sophomore will shoot the lights out if given space, and her shooting will help balance the Rockets’ offense. I could see Buss playing the Ava Kok role on the offensive end and have nights where she scores 20 and hits big shots down the stretch to help her team win games.
The Polar Bears did what they couldn’t two years ago and won a sectional title. However, I’m sure there’s still a sour taste to that experience at the Resch Center. The early double-digit lead faded, and they let a real opportunity to beat Kettle Moraine go, but they have some key figures back for this season. The most exciting returner is future Milwaukee Panther Wisconsin Flight Elite playing up at the 15u level and is more than ready for FVA basketball. A lead guard spot is ready for her whenever she proves she’s ready, which might have been a year ago if Wisconsin let middle school kids play high school basketball like Minnesota does., in my opinion. Her length, athleticism, skill, and competitiveness were needed, especially when had to sit with early foul trouble against KM. Her range helps them answer questions that some of the elite in the FVA will ask, like . The biggest name and 41-point scorer in the sectional title game against Neenah in is back for her junior season. St. Thomas commit has also improved every year she’s been at Hortonville, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. One more name to keep tabs on this season will be a newcomer, and the next Peppler in the family, . Kardyn had a standout summer with
Basketball can be a cruel game, and The Galloping Ghosts learned that the hard way in the 22-23 season. I believe they were good enough to come out of their sectional, they even beat Germantown at a neutral site last season, but that game also ended their hopes of going to state when now St. Cloud State wing Alana Zarneke went down with a knee injury. The rest of that season also saw Wisconsin Legends team. Fellow junior is also back, and both juniors have been in big-time games and will not shy away from the occasion.miss some time, and now she’ll miss her senior season with a knee injury. The Galloping Ghosts should be a cautionary tale about how fragile state championship windows are and how quickly they can shut in the middle of a season. However, the talent cupboard isn’t empty for Kaukauna. Junior shot the lights out all summer with her
The Wildcats go against the grain in their style of play in the FVA. The FVA has a significant portion of the best scorers in the state, and the Wildcats win games by playing elite-level defense and have been one of the best defensive units in the state while not having the talent that Neenah and Hortonville enjoy. The one kid who helps make that defense work is. Seckar is a 6-0 athlete who can defend 1-5 at the high school level while playing elite defense around the basket. She led the conference in blocked shots in her sophomore season but can switch onto elite scorers and hold her own. is another integral part of that Wildcat defense because of her athleticism and ability to fight through screens and stick with some of the most creative guards in the FVA. is another kid who’ll be another piece of the puzzle. Her physicality on the defensive end fits the scrappy nature of this group and will make opposing wings’ lives miserable when they play the Wildcats. Braelee Jordarski is also back, which brings continuity.
I’ve talked about the Papermakers before, but they could be the most exciting team in Wisconsin. They have high-end talent with experience inand , kids who can create like , kids who can shoot and defend frantically like , and talented newcomers like Ava Van Vonderan and . Kimberly can hurt teams in every way imaginable, and if the young talent acclimates quickly, we’re talking about a potential D1 State Champion.
The final rotational piece of the Patriot team that went to a state title game two years ago, Sammi Beyer, is gone, and this will be the next chapter of Patriots basketball. Although Lindsay Gerrard played a role on that team, she’s more in line with this new era of Appletom East, especially after her game-winner against Fond du Lac. Gerrard is a solid piece in the FVA, and her experience will be valuable this season, but a few others can make or break the Patriots’ season. One name is Wisconsin Flight Elite 15U team that played up and went to the Elite Eight of Nike Nationals. That backcourt at Appleton East should be ok. The last name could be the biggest surprise in the FVA in . Neubauer finished the AAU season with her Purple Aces on a tear and opened a few eyes in Minnesota in July. Remember her name.. After an up-and-down first half of the season, she suffered a knee injury that kept her out the final few months of the season and the entire AAU season. However, her talent was evident, and her athleticism was game-changing. Now that she has the experience and a new perspective on the game, I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s significantly better this season. One more name, who played with kids like , Ava Van Vonderan, , and Avery Werfal (Who I’ll discuss in a second), in were all teammates on an extremley talented
Fond du Lac
is back after her final AAU season with Let it Rain and earned a Rockhurst offer over the summer. Her shooting is elite, and with her size and physicality, it’s no surprise she received second-team all-conference honors last season. The other name to watch is Brooklyn Wood, who also shot the ball well last year, initiated offense well, and created some turnovers for the Cardinals.
Kariss Smith is unfortunately not walking through the door again, but there are still some positives for the Lightning. One is the development of 6-0 post player Tay Maas, who had an excellent summer with her Playmakers/Thrive group, and her physicality and fight will not be endearing to the teams Appleton North plays, but it’ll help her team win games. Avery Werfal missed a significant portion of her AAU season due to injury, but people I trust who’s seen her play can’t speak highly enough about her, and she’s in the place to prove she can play. Newly committed Stevens Point Pointer Kate Vandeberg is also back for her senior season after a solid AAU season with her Wisconsin Legends group.
Mallory Ott may not be back, but one name to watch is. She’s an excellent athlete who plays bigger than her 5-10 height, and after the Spartans ended their FVA winless streak last season, expect some positive momentum this season with their returners and adding Alic.
The Terrors will look to figure out what life after Olivia Peterson and City Figlinski look like and will look to develop from within.
- Oshkosh West
- Appleton East
- Fond du Lac
- Appleton North
- Oshkosh North
- Appleton West