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View from the cheap seats

View from the cheap seats View from the cheap seats

A weekly perspective on sports

It’s extremely early yet in the high school varsity girl’s basketball season, but I am still impressed with how well a few local teams are playing thus far this year.

Edgar head coach Betty Urmanski has her girls basketball team already playing at a very high level this season. A few area basketball fans were surprised to hear Edgar had beaten Wisconsin Rapids Assumption last week, considering the Royals and Wausau Newman Cardinals were predicted to be the top two teams in the Marawood South Conference this season.

It appears last season’s young Wildcats’ squad grew up tremendously in the offseason, and the team’s big home win against Assumption proves to area basketball fans the Wildcats are indeed a team to be reckoned with in the battle for the Marawood South Conference title this season.

Marathon’s varsity girl’s basktball team has also found its winning ways again this season, coming off a tough season in which the Red Raiders’ endured a losing record for the first time in several years. Head coach Jeff Schneider is back on the bench this season. He’s already guided Marathon to road wins against Auburndale and Rib Lake.

Stratford’s varsity girl’s basketball team fell flat on the road against a very tough Wausau Newman squad in its season-opening game, yet head coach Tammie Christopherson was able to “right the ship” by leading the team to an away win against Tomah on Tueday.

Christopherson’s main challenge this season for the team is to find players who can be complementary scorers around talented junior center Breanna Ackley, whom opponents will double team if none of her teammates are able to step up and make big scoring contributions this season.

It’s nice to see Athens High School 2015 alumni Kyncaide Diedrich as the new Athens varsity girls head basketball coach this season. I enjoyed covering Kyncaide most recently as an outstanding women’s college basketball player for UW-Stout. It seems like yesterday in a phone interview she was telling me how she needed to work on improving her outside jump shot in her college offeason. Now she’s the Bluejays’ head varsity girl’s basketball coach only four years after graduating from high school.

Kyncaide’s Athens girl’s basketball team will take its lumps early this season, but I expect she’ll have the Bluejays playing much better basketball at the end of the regular season heading into the playoffs.

Eventually I’m sure Kyncaide would love to guide the Athens girl’s basketball team to its first state tournament appearance since 1991, when Jennifer Rauen was an imposing tall player on that Bluejays’ team. Jennifer of course ended up marrying Bill Coker.