Cyclones prepare for new basketball season
After a run to the Regional Championship Game where they lost 64-38 to the Des Moines Christian Lions during their 2022 campaign, the HCHS girls basketball team is back to work ready to make another strong run.
“Just thinking about this season, and what this team can accomplish gives me chills,” said Senior Erica Rust. “It’s my senior season, so this is the last chance we have at making state, and I think we have a team this year that can definitely get that done, and we’re a group of hard workers who really want this more than ever, and I think we can do it.”
The Cyclones went 14-8 last season with its first win coming against Shenandoah that started a 6-game winning streak, followed by wins against Glenwood, Atlantic, St. Albert, Denison, Creston, Winterset. The season culminated with playoff wins against Red Oak and Atlantic.
The Cyclones were led by Aubrey Schwieso with 330 points, followed by Rust with 278, and Hannah Sonderman with 139. Rust led in rebounds with 214, Ava Monson with 114, and Sonderman with 98. Schwieso led in assists with 85, Monson with 71, and Sonderman with 37.
The Cyclones lost four seniors from last season in Ella Plagman, Savannah Christensen, Ava Miller, and Lauren McLaughlin. However, most of the girls that were starters last season are back, and head coach Zach Klaassen is confident in this teams ability to get over the hump of the Regional Championship Game.
“We have the potential to do some good things this year,” Klaassen said. “As coaches, we need to turn that potential into wins. It feels like the girls are hungry, and seem to be more focused than they were last year to start the season. We were one game away from state, and it is time we put in the work to make that next step.”
The Cyclones will open this season with a scrimmage against the Sergeant Bluff-Luton Warriors Nov. 16, followed by their regular season opener at home against the Treynor Cardinals to whom they lost 48-44, to open the season last year.
The Cardinals went 21-3 last season, making it all the way to the Class 2A- Region 7 Championship game, losing 39-38 to the Panorama Panthers. The Cardinals were led by Clara Teigland with 403 points, 154 rebounds, and 122 assists.
“Our first two games are great teams,” Rust said. “I think we just need to go in with a strong mental game, and if we play like we’ve been practicing, then I think we’ll come out very successful, keeping a positive attitude, working together as a team, and keeping the ball moving very quick.”
The Cyclones will have plenty of other challenging opponents, some of which are in their conference.
“Definitely looking at this conference, looking at Lewis Central and St. Albert, they were both very strong teams last year,” Rust added. “I think this year we can seal the deal, and get wins with them also, but it’ll take team work and working together to get that done.”