Published Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 12:01 am / Updated at 1:52 am
basketball
Nebraska girls high school basketball capsules

Capsules on Class A, Class B and Omaha-area Nebraska girls basketball teams.

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CLASS A

Bellevue East
Coach: Scott Jensen, 19th year. 2011-12: 21-7, state qualifier.
Returning starters — Seniors: Jayla Hobza, 5-8, g; Shelby Quinn, 5-5, g; Taylor Silva, 5-5, g. Juniors: Peyton Hagen, 5-8, f.
Outlook: Chieftains lost three players — Hobza, Quinn and Silva — to knee injuries last year. All three are back and healthy this season.

Bellevue West
Coach: Marc Kruger, 1st year. 2011-12: 17-8.
Returning starters — Seniors: Elisha Cobbs, 5-6, g; Haelee Kowalski, 5-8, f; Emilee Pechacek, 5-5, g. Juniors: Madi Braun, 5-7, g.
Outlook: Thunderbirds, under the guidance of new coach Kruger, are optimistic with the return of injured players and the addition of freshman Chloe Akin-Otiko and Omaha Marian transfer Kate Liveringhouse.

Fremont
Coach: Tony Weinandt, 11th year. 2011-12: 19-6, state qualifier.
Returning starters — Juniors: Kendall Niehaus, 5-11, f.
Outlook: Tigers graduated a strong class, including top scorer Allison Bachman; newcomers will be counted on immediately.

Grand Island
Coach: Kelli Jeffries, 20th year. 2011-12: 8-14.
Returning starters — Seniors: Kirsten Sullivan, 5-8, f.
Outlook: Islanders graduated seven seniors and will have several holes to fill; should improve as the season progresses.

Kearney
Coach: Jason Boyd, 7th year. 2011-12: 7-18.
Returning starters — Seniors: Kelsey Wiemers, 5-8, g; Gretchen Mak, 5-8, f; Kendra Coslor, 5-8, f. Juniors: Payton Cudaback, 5-7, f; Abby Ray, 5-9, c. Sophomores: Kelsey Stithem, 5-7, g.
Outlook: Bearcats return a lot of experience and should be extremely competitive this season.

Lincoln East
Coach: Dennis Prichard, 7th year. 2011-12: 11-13.
Returning starters — Seniors: Nicole Raatz, 5-10, g. Juniors: Syd Svoboda, 5-5, g; Imani Wilson, 5-5, g.
Outlook: Spartans were hit hard by graduation and face a rebuilding year.

Lincoln High
Coach: Jeff Pierce, 7th year. 2011-12: 3-19.
Returning starters — Seniors: Malaik Muhammad, 5-6, g; Briannah Hunt, 5-11, c; Jayce Osorio, 5-10, f; Jarelle Brooks, 5-7, f. Sophomores: Elisia Medina, 5-9, g.
Outlook: Links return all five starters and should show major improvement.

Lincoln Northeast
Coach: Steve Bartek. 2011-12, 18-6, state qualifier.
Returning starters — Seniors: Devin Edwards, 5-7, g; Madi Francis, 5-7, f. Juniors: Toni Tupper, 6-3, c; Morgan Ewing, 5-8, f. Sophomores: Jamie Holscher, 5-7, g.
Outlook: Rockets must move on without graduated star Brianna Craig (18.6 ppg); only two seniors but 10 returning letterwinners.

Lincoln Pius X
Coach: Bill Rice, 14th year. 2011-12: 11-10.
Returning starters — Seniors: Rachel Arthur, 5-4, g; Miranda Paul, 5-9, g. Sophomores: Maddie Simon, 6-1, g.
Outlook: Strong senior class will provide leadership; Simon is getting Division I looks from several schools.

Lincoln Southeast
Coach: Kara Graham, 2nd year. 2011-12: 25-2, state runner-up.
Returning starters — Seniors: Alexa Kastanek, 5-9, g; Alexa Haas, 5-3, g. Sophomores: Jess Shepard, 6-3, c.
Outlook: Knights should be one of the top teams in Class A with the return of Division I recruits Kastanek and Shepard.

Lincoln Southwest
Coach: Lis Brenden, 11th year. 2011-12: 17-7, state qualifier.
Returning starters — Seniors: Lauren Works, 5-7, g. Juniors: McKenna Dodd, 5-7, g; Baleigh Miller, 5-7, g.
Outlook: Guard play will be the strength of the Silver Hawks, with Creighton recruit Lauren Works leading the way.

Millard North
Coach: Scott Persigehl, 4th year. 2011-12: 16-9.
Returning starters — Seniors: Mary Dineen, 5-7, g; Taylor Bahensky, 5-8, g. Juniors: Holly Hild, 5-8, f.
Outlook: Mustangs, who just missed state last year, have a senior-laden roster and high hopes this season.

Millard South
Coach: Doug Moody, 4th year. 2011-12: 4-20.
Returning starters — Seniors: Macy Woitzel, 5-7, g. Juniors: Kendra Rueth, 5-7, g. Sophomores: Logan Klein, 5-8, g.
Outlook: Patriots are still inexperienced but should have a better shooting team this season.

Millard West
Coach: Kip Colony, 18th year. 2011-12: 19-5.
Returning starters — Seniors: Dani Saenz, 5-6, g. Juniors: Sam Waldron, 5-9, g; Paige Phipps, 5-4, g. Sophomores: Marisa Lowe, 6-0, g.
Outlook: Wildcats missed state last season after being upset in the district final; that motivation and the return of four starters should make them tough.

Norfolk
Coach: Bruce Shively, 4th year. 2011-12: 8-16.
Returning starters — Seniors: Jordan Copple, 5-6, g; Bre Hagedown, 5-11, f. Juniors: Skylar Starkel, 5-7, g; Chelsea Johnson, 5-7, g. Sophomores: Jaycee Bradley, 5-9, g.
Outlook: Panthers return top scorer Bradley and other key players; improvement expected.

North Platte
Coach: Mark Woodhead, 11th year. 2011-12: 6-16.
Returning starters — Seniors: Ashten Hernandez, 6-0, f. Sophomores: Kaitlynn Harvey, 5-7, g.
Outlook: Bulldogs will be young but should show improvement later in the season.

Omaha Benson
Coach: Jon Perone, 6th year. 2011-12: 16-8.
Returning starters — Juniors: Zabrina Kentch, 5-11, f; Octavia McGraw, 5-6, g. Sophomores: Kianna Ibis, 6-0, f.
Outlook: Only an overtime loss in the district final last season kept the Bunnies from reaching state; continued improvement expected with the return of Ibis and Kentch.

Omaha Burke
Coach: Luke Lueders, 4th year. 2011-12: 8-16.
Returning starters — Seniors: Mallorie Moore, 5-8, g.
Outlook: Moore, a three-year starter, will be counted on to bring young players along.

Omaha Central
Coach: Tom Lee, 3rd year. 2011-12: 29-1, state champion.
Returning starters — Seniors: Sylvia Smith-Gatson, 5-11, f; Sydney McGruder, 5-10, c. Juniors: Abigail Niebrugge, 5-5, g.
Outlook: Eagles return eight from last season's state championship squad but only three had significant playing time; chance to be very good once again if players come together.

Omaha Marian
Coach: Lisa Schmidt, 1st year. 2011-12: 6-17.
Returning starters — Seniors: Annie Wolfe, Anna Bartolomei, Nicole Liske, Allison McLeay.
Outlook: Crusaders suffered through one of their worst seasons last year; new coach Schmidt looks to begin rebuilding process.

Omaha North
Coach: Troy Langabee, 1st year. 2011-12: 10-14.
Returning starters — Seniors: Imani White, g; Ashley Collins, f.
Outlook: Vikings move on with new coach Langabee; nice blend of upperclassmen and newcomers.

Omaha Northwest
Coach: Kevin Vann, 6th year. 2011-12: 4-17.
Returning starters — Seniors: Nya Pal, 5-10, f. Juniors: Deleyah Harris, 5-6, g; Nadia Donovan, 5-6, g.
Outlook: Huskies seek to be more competitive this season.

Omaha South
Coach: Matt Curtis, 2nd year. 2011-12: 7-19.
Returning starters — Seniors: Adrianna Beck, 5-11, g; Akia Brown, 5-11, f. Juniors: Leara Blair, 5-11, g; Chelsea Chapman, 5-11, f; Jamilah Adams, 5-11, f.
Outlook: Packers will field a young team intent on improving over last season.

Omaha Westside
Coach: Steve Clark, 2nd year. 2011-12: 13-11.
Returning starters — Juniors: Mallory Thompson, 5-6, g. Sophomores: Jay Bridgeman, 6-1, c.
Outlook: Only two seniors are on the roster but two of the top three scorers return; Bridgeman averaged 10 points and eight rebounds as a freshman last season.

Papillion-La Vista
Coach: Dave Hubert, 18th year. 2011-12: 12-12.
Returning starters — Seniors: Alex Nelson, 6-1, f. Juniors: Maddie Willett, 5-5, g. Sophomores: Ashley Nelson, 5-7, g; Raechel Meisinger, 6-0, c.
Outlook: Monarchs are young but can build around Nelson, a Wayne State recruit who averaged 12.6 points last year.

Papillion-La Vista South
Coach: Andy Gerlecz, 2nd year. 2011-12: 20-7, state qualifier.
Returning starters — Seniors: None.
Outlook: Titans could use 6-3 twins Kadie and Amber Rolfzen, who will graduate early to get a jump on their volleyball careers at Nebraska; rebuilding season ahead.

CLASS B

Alliance
Coach: Nate Lanik, 6th year. 2011-12: 12-11.
Returning starters — Seniors: Shae Brennan, 5-7, g; Andri Halouska, 5-3, g; Danielle Brennan, 5-6, f; Morgan Anthony, 5-3, g; Olivia Vogel, 5-10, f.
Outlook: Several returning letterwinners from last year's 12-win team is good news for the Bulldogs.

Aurora
Coach: Nate Larsen, 5th year. 2011-12: 9-14.
Returning starters — Juniors: Taylor Thiele, 5-11, g.
Outlook: Huskies lack varsity experience, though Thiele is a good player to build around.

Beatrice
Coach: Ryan Luke, 4th year. 2011-12: 18-5, state runner-up.
Returning starters — Seniors: Hanah Barnard, 5-6, g; Jill Faxon, 5-10, f; Chantel Adams, 5-7, g. Juniors: Taylor Osborne, 5-4, g.
Outlook: Lady Orange return four starters from last year's state runner-up; team moves on without graduated star Alicia Armstrong (17.0 ppg).

Bennington
Coach: Tom Schumacher, 6th year. 2011-12: 16-8.
Returning starters — Seniors: Sami Hansen, 6-0, c; Michela Torczon, 6-0, g.
Outlook: Badgers should be competitive but will need younger players to step up; Hansen averaged 11.3 ppg last season while Torczon averaged 10.0.

Blair
Coach: Shawn Ekwall, 3rd year. 2011-12: 7-15.
Returning starters — Seniors: Audrey Pawol, 5-5, f. Juniors: Morgan Anderson, 5-0, g; Sydney Lock, 5-7, f; Melissa Throener, 5-7, g.
Outlook: Bears could use some height; backcourt will be the team's strength.

Columbus
Coach: Dave Licari, 15th year. 2011-12: 22-4, Class A state qualifier.
Returning starters — Juniors: Bailey Smith, 5-6, g.
Outlook: Discoverers drop to Class B but graduated top scorers Sammi Licari (16.9 ppg) and Elle Klink (14.8 ppg); rebuilding year looms.

Crete
Coach: Marcus Gillespie, 5th year. 2011-12: 14-10.
Returning starters — Seniors: Kaitlin Bradley, 5-8, g; Morgan Hill, 5-8, g; Alex Edwards, 5-10, f. Sophomores: Kaitlin Paulsen, 5-4, g.
Outlook: Cardinals return four starters, including three who averaged in scoring double figures last season; good season ahead, if the team can stay healthy.

Elkhorn
Coach: Jennifer Wragge, 7th year. 2011-12: 9-11.
Returning starters — Seniors: Leanna Willer, 6-0, f; Kristin Lange, 5-10, f. Sophomores: Alicia Mountain, 5-8, g.
Outlook: Antlers' lack of size hurts; team will rely on up-tempo offense and tough defense.

Elkhorn South
Coach: Terry Graver, 3rd year. 2011-12: 14-12, state qualifier.
Returning starters — Seniors: Elle Banghart, 5-8, g; Jenn Wies, 5-9, f; Sarah Raymond, 5-8, f. Juniors: Maddie Simmons, 6-0, f; Megan Kucks, 5-7, g.
Outlook: Storm hope to build on momentum of last year's district title and a first-ever berth at the state tournament; three players will be starting for the third straight year.

Gering
Coach: Adam Freeburg, 3rd year. 2011-12: 8-15.
Returning starters — Seniors: Megan Upp, 5-10, g.
Outlook: Bulldogs reportedly had a very good offseason and improvement is expected.

Hastings
Coach: Greg Mays, 6th year. 2011-12: 2-17.
Returning starters — Seniors: Mel Gnagy, 5-3, g. Juniors: Bailey Petzoldt, 5-8, f.
Outlook: Illness and injury to key players will hold back the Tigers early; team should improve later in the season.

Holdrege
Coach: Trent Benjamin, 15th year. 2011-12: 20-3, state qualifier.
Returning starters — Juniors: Rachel Jelden, 6-0, c; Julianna Burr, 5-6, g. Sophomores: Jenna Gillespie, 5-4, g.
Outlook: Three starters are back from last year's powerhouse but the graduation of top scorer Chelsey Morten (15.0 ppg) will hurt; Jelden averaged 13.7 ppg and 9.1 rpg as a sophomore.

McCook
Coach: Jeff Ellis, 4th year. 2011-12: 12-15, state qualifier.
Returning starters — Seniors: Brooklynn Trew, 5-7, g; Megan Ruppert, 5-7, g; Rachel Goltl, 5-9, f; Kassidy Gillen, 5-11, c.
Outlook: Bison return four starters from last year's squad that reached state for the first time since 1995; Ruppert averaged almost 11 points per game last season.

Nebraska City
Coach: Britt Rosane, 18th year. 2011-12: 2-19.
Returning starters — Seniors: Kelsey Woodward, 5-6, g. Juniors: Katie Zach, 5-10, f.
Outlook: Inexperienced Pioneers will seek to improve as the season progresses.

Omaha Duchesne
Coach: Casey Hall, 2nd year. 2011-12: 14-12.
Returning starters — Seniors: Courtney Dworak, 6-0, c; Thalia Rodgers, 5-7, g. Juniors: Kate Schulte, 5-9, f; Ann Schulte, 5-9, g.
Outlook: The Cardinals return a strong nucleus from the squad that came within one win of the state tournament last year.

Omaha Gross
Coach: Fr. Steve Emanuel, 5th year. 2011-12: 12-10.
Returning starters — Seniors: Alex Opperman, 6-0, c. Juniors: Joelle Overkamp, 5-11, f. Sophomores: Kayla Johnk, 5-4, g.
Outlook: Cougars return some experience but newcomers will need to step up immediately.

Omaha Mercy
Coach: Mike Kaderly, 2nd year. 2011-12: 4-20.
Returning starters — Seniors: Abby Rider, 5-5, g; Rebecca Davis, 5-9, f; Maggie Yakus, 5-10, c; Jennifer Novotny, 5-11, f.
Outlook: The return of four senior starters is a good place to start for the Monarchs, who should show improvement.

Omaha Roncalli
Coach: Don Jensen, 17th year. 2011-12: 8-15.
Returning starters — Seniors: Molly Milbrandt, 5-5, g. Juniors: Hannah Knight, 5-7, g. Sophomores: Maddie Dotzler, 5-7, g.
Outlook: Crimson Pride will field a very young squad; freshmen will be counted on heavily.

Omaha Skutt
Coach: Marty Plum, 8th year. 2011-12: 14-11.
Returning starters — Seniors: Sierra Adams, 6-0, f. Juniors: Alex Banker, 5-9, f; Mac Harry, 5-6, g; Brooke Denton, 5-8, g.
Outlook: SkyHawks return four starters from a team that was playing its best basketball at the end of last season; longtime Millard North coach Jeff Ritz is an assistant.

Platteview
Coach: Justin Dannelly, 3rd year. 2011-12: 11-12.
Returning starters — Juniors: Sydney Feller, 5-8, f; Michelle Keyes, 5-8, f; Lexie Wichman, 5-6, g. Sophomores: Kenzie Kulm, 5-7, g.
Outlook: Trojans' returnees include Kulm, who averaged 12.5 points and 8.1 rebounds last season as a freshman.

Ralston
Coach: Janel Buchta, 2nd year. 2011-12: 0-22.
Returning starters — Seniors: Bre Farris-Rainey, 5-5, g; Taylre Keenan, 5-5, g; Bailey Mason, 5-7, g. Sophomores: Randi Henry, 5-7, g.
Outlook: Rams have nowhere to go but up after last season; the return of four starters will help the rebuilding process.

Schuyler
Coach: Gerry Reinsch, 2nd year. 2011-12: 3-17.
Returning starters — Seniors: Logan Drueppel, 6-2, c. Juniors: Jill Brichacek, 6-0, c; Kylie Brabec, 5-6, g.
Outlook: Warriors return three starters, including Drueppel (10.8 ppg, 11.0 rpg).

Scottsbluff
Coach: Mike Burda, 6th year. 2011-12: 4-21.
Returning starters — Seniors: Alexus Pinedo, 5-8, g. Juniors: Kiley Guerue, 5-9, f.
Outlook: Graduation losses hurt Bearcats, who will need newcomers to step up immediately.

Seward
Coach: Tom Tvrdy, 12th year. 2011-12: 26-0, state champion.
Returning starters — Seniors: Hannah Tvrdy, 5-10, g; Kourteney Zadina, 6-2, f.
Outlook: Bluejays, who haven't lost since 2008, are seeking their fifth straight Class B crown; tough schedule will definitely test them, even with the return of Tvrdy (16.0 ppg) and Zadina (15 ppg).

Sidney
Coach: Tyler Shaw, 7th year. 2011-12: 14-8.
Returning starters — Seniors: Karissa Segelke, 5-10, f; Jeni Heeren, 5-7, f; Kylee Price, 5-6, g; Morgan Linneman, 5-9, g. Juniors: Sarah Mahr, 5-7, g; Abbi porter, 6-1, f.
Outlook: Lady Raiders return a lot of experience and could improve on last year's respectable performance.

South Sioux City
Coach: Ashley O'Dell, 2nd year. 2011-12: 12-9.
Returning starters — Seniors: Morgan Hansen, 5-9, f. Juniors: Emily Schram, 5-5, g; Jordan Closter, 5-8, g.
Outlook: Once a state tourney regular, the Cardinals haven't made that trip the past two years; return of Hansen (14.5 ppg) definitely boosts their chances this season.

Waverly
Coach: Anthony Harms, 8th year. 2011-12: 18-6.
Returning starters — Seniors: Cierra Tjaden, 5-10, g; Alisha Loveless, 5-11, c. Juniors: Olivia Boender, 6-2, c.
Outlook: Vikings came up one win short of state last season; Boender (14.7 ppg, 9.5 rpg) and Tjaden (12.5 ppg) are key returnees.

York
Coach: Matt Kern, 7th year. 2011-12: 9-15.
Returning starters — Seniors: Liz Harlow, 5-7, g; Aleah Rosenau, 5-11, f. Juniors: Hannah Riley, 5-8, g; Erin Malleck, 5-9, g.
Outlook: The Dukes return four starters though lack of height could be an issue.

OMAHA-AREA

Arlington
Coach: Amber Sims, 2nd year. 2011-12: 11-11.
Returning starters — Seniors: Melinda Schmidt, 5-7, g; Maddison Bastian, 5-8, g. Sophomores: Catie Theiler, 5-10, f.
Outlook: The basketball roster includes several players from the state championship softball team; continuation of that success this winter is a possibility.

Boys Town
Coach: Blake Anderson, 2nd year. 2011-12: 6-14.
Returning starters — None.
Outlook: With no returning starters, this team will need to gel quickly and find its own identity.

Conestoga
Coach: Jay Rosane, 1st year. 2011-12: 1-21.
Returning starters — Seniors: Sydney Todd, 5-9, f; Brooke Murdoch, 5-8, f. Juniors: Devanne Martin, 5-6, g; K. Parriott, 5-8, g.
Outlook: The Cougars are young but should show improvement for new coach Rosane.

Louisville
Coach: Wally Johnson. 2011-12: 14-9.
Returning starters — Seniors: Morgan Dittberner, 6-0, f. Juniors: Samantha Lane, 6-0, f.
Outlook: The Lions had a nice season last year and return top scorer Dittberner (12.0 ppg); pressure defense could give opponents problems.

Omaha Brownell-Talbot
Coach: Bob Williams, 1st year. 2011-12: 12-9.
Returning starters — Sophomores: Kenzi Larkin, 6-0, f.
Outlook: Raiders have just two seniors on the roster; improvement could come later in the season for new coach Williams.

Omaha Concordia
Coach: Marty Senechal, 10th year. 2011-12: 20-6, Class C-1 state qualifier.
Returning starters — Seniors: Becky Mueller, 5-10, f. Sophomores: Sarah Holmes, 5-7, g; Sara Struble, 6-2, c.
Outlook: Mustangs return three starters, including top scorer Mueller (15.1 ppg); repeat of last year's success is difficult, not impossible.

Weeping Water
Coach: Justin Royal, 4th year. 2011-12: 19-8, Class C-2 state qualifier.
Returning starters — Seniors: Kendall Guhl, 6-1, c. Juniors: Taylor Hermann, 5-8, f. Sophomores: Marylyn Mozena, 5-9, g.
Outlook: Indians made their first appearance at state last year but that team's top two scorers graduated; Mozena averaged almost 10 points per game as a freshman.

Yutan
Coach: Rod Henkel, 6th year. 2011-12: 15-10.
Returning starters — Seniors: Morgan O'Malley, 5-8, g. Sophomores: Maddie Egr, 6-0, f.
Outlook: Chieftains, who lost in the district final last year, graduated their top two scorers; crafty coach Henkel always gets the most out of his team.

Note: Not all schools returned preview forms.

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