Kids That Could See Increased Roles This Season
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Now that I got through the preseason all-state teams in each division, I want to talk about a few players. In high school sports, there naturally will be a fair bit of turnover, and it’s just the nature of the…
Now that I got through the preseason all-state teams in each division, I want to talk about a few players. In high school sports, there naturally will be a fair bit of turnover, and it’s just the nature of the beast. I want to highlight some kids who could assume more prominent roles heading into 2023-24.
Over the past few seasons, Beaver Dam has leaned into playing deep rotations, and Abel was a part of that rotation, but she has a chance to earn a prominent role for a new Golden Beaver staff. The 5-11 wing/forward was excellent this summer in a supporting role alongside kids like Aubryn Clark and Purple Aces group. She did most of the dirty work under the basket and earned points off her offensive rebounding. Abel can also space the floor and knock down some perimeter jumpers to force defenses to respect her out there, if for nothing else. She has some positional versatility as well. Since she has a combination of strength and athleticism, I see no issue playing her anywhere from the three to five at the high school level.with their 15U
The closer we get to the season, the more I get excited about what the Germantown Warhawks could be this season because of kids like. The identity of the Warhawks will likely be defensive-based and a pressuring one at that. Mani is a multi-sport athlete who can run for miles without getting tired, and that suits the pressing defense the Warhawks could deploy this season. I’ve always liked the hustle Mani’s brought to the Germantown program, but I feel I’ve never given her credit offensively. She’s an accomplished spot-up shooter who constantly gave other guards like KK Arnold an outlet to kick the ball out to when defenses collapsed. Mani also does an excellent job passing, particularly in transition, because she gets the ball to teammates on the run and on time whenever the Warhawks get transition opportunities.
Due to the talent at Pewaukee, not many kids can get into the rotation at Pewaukee, but Retherford could see her role increase. She’s among the kids who could fill the vacant starting spot left by Ava Westerman, and I believe she could add to what the Pirates have going. Retherford improved skill-wise and physically over the summer, which showed at the Pewaukee Fall League. She shot the ball effortlessly when it got to her, and she did an excellent job using her body to keep kids in front of her. If the Pirates have a piece that could push them over the top in D2, it might be Retherford.
From watching Long a few times over the summer, the main thing I took away was how valuable her skillset is. Then I checked how she did last year at Kiel, and she didn’t play much. Kiel has routinely had successful seasons because of the development of kids like Natalee Long, and there’s a chance she will become one of the best kids in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference because she can do a little of everything. The 6-0 wing is athletic, skilled, and has an excellent motor. Every small school coach should make at least one trip to Kiel to see her play.
In Hanson’s first three years, she got overshadowed by Paulina Hernandez, and it makes sense because she’s a Mid-Major level post player and dominated in the Southeast Conference. However, now that she’s gone, Hanson has an opportunity to make a name for herself this season. Hanson has the tools to hurt teams inside and out, which fits what Oak Creek has gotten from their posts the past few seasons, and she’s more “wingy,” which allows for some flexible defensive philosophies. I loved what she did in her role last season, and I could see her becoming a nuisance in the Southeast this season.