New Richmond senior Jessica Hagman and Somerset junior Dani Schachtner lead the seven local girls who were selected to the 2019-20 All-Middle Border Conference basketball team.
Hagman and Schachtner were first team All-MBC selections. New Richmond juniors Barb Kling and Leah DeYoung were selected for the second team. St. Croix Central seniors Morgan Siler and Kolbi Juen were honorable mentions selections, as was Somerset junior Taylor Paulson.
The Tigers won 19 games this season, with the trio of Hagman, Kling and DeYoung leading the way.
Hagman reached the 1,000-point milestone in her career this season. She accomplished this despite missing most of her sophomore season with a knee injury.
Hagman led the Tigers by averaging 14.5 points per game. The diversity in her game, with the ability to hit from the perimeter or drive to the rim, made her extremely tough to defend.
“When Jess got things rolling, the rest of the team got things rolling,” said New Richmond coach Chad Eggert. He credited Hagman and senior Audrey Feuerer for bringing the program to a high level during their four years with the team.
Kling and DeYoung have also been instrumental in the Tigers’ rise. Kling has become one of the area’s top point guards. She ranked third in the conference in assists. Her 9.6 points per game ranked second for the Tigers.
“Barb gives every single ounce of effort, every single possession,” Eggert said. “She’s by far the best finisher we have.”
Eggert said Kling’s emergence as a defender enables the coaches to put her up against the opponent’s best guard in every game.
Eggert said DeYoung is the post contemporary of Kling, with her ability to defend and rebound. He said the playoff win against Holmen, where DeYoung hauled in 17 rebounds, is an example of DeYoung’s importance.
The Tigers have announced their team awards for the season.
Captain Awards: Jessica Hagman and Audrey Feuerer
Offensive Player of the Year: Jessica Hagman
Defensive Player of the Year: Barb Kling
Most Hustle: Sophie Ballard
True Teammates: Taylor Berquam, Erika Emerson and Jade Berget
With Schachtner and Paulson leading the young Spartans, the team grew considerably over the course of the season.
Schachtner developed into one of the premier post players in the area. Her 12.6 rebounds per game ranked sixth in the state and was the second best total among Division 3 players. She also ranked fourth in the state in blocked shots. Combined with her 11.8 points per game, Schachtner was strong in every area of the game. There were several games this season where she had triple-doubles, reaching double figures in scoring, rebounds and blocks.
“She put the team on her back more of the time than not,” said Somerset coach Cory Lindenberg. “She can defend, she’s an elite rim defender.”
Paulson was one of the best perimeter shooters in the conference this season, sinking 36 percent of her 3-point attempts. She was second on the team in scoring, averaging 9.8 points.
“She took steps forward as a defender and she had a knack for grabbing timely rebounds,” Lindenberg said.
St. Croix Central
Led by Siler and Juen, the Panthers worked through a season of difficulty, finishing with a flurry that included three wins in the final month of the season.
Siler was the Panthers’ offensive leader, with the ability to score from the perimeter and in transition.
“She also did a really good job of defending some of the best guards in the conference,” said Central coach Riley Walz. “All the coaches (in the conference) respected her.”
Juen was the Panthers’ second leading scorer. At 5-feet-7, she was one of the smaller post players in the conference, but she didn’t let that limit her effectiveness. She was a tough defender who battled every opponent.
“She’s the ultimate hustle player,” Walz said.