Grunseth, Warner cap fine hoops careers with All-ECC honors
ALL-EASTERN CLOVERBELT GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Gilman girls basketball team’s dynamic senior duo of Grace Grunseth and Emma Warner ended their prep careers with some big numbers and return spots on the 2019-20 All-Eastern Cloverbelt Conference teams.
Grunseth, after two years on the second team and gaining honorable mention as a freshman, made the jump to the six-member first team after another season of strong all-around play. Warner made the six-member second team for the second straight year.
The honors follow Gilman’s 18-7 season under second-year head coach Tammy Weir, which featured the program’s highest win total in 19 years, its first WIAA regional final appearance in 14 years and its best conference record (11-5) since the Pirates moved to the Eastern Cloverbelt in the 2010-11 season.
The All-ECC first team is an impressive group. It includes Grunseth, seniors Hailey Voelker of Colby, Addison Baierl of Columbus Catholic, Remi Geiger of Loyal and Alli Schoengarth of Neillsville as well as Neillsville junior Bella Opelt.
Voelker was named to the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division 4 All-State team on Monday, and Gei- ger was named the Division 5 All-State squad. Baierl got honorable mention for the Division 5 team. Geiger, a three-time, first-team All-ECC selection was named the conference’s Player of the Year.
Grunseth averaged 13.9 points per game in 25 games played this season and continued to make strong contributions in other statistical areas, pulling down 5.2 rebounds per game and collecting 3.8 assists and 3.1 steals per outing.
During the season, she surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career, finishing with 1,206.
Grunseth had three double-doubles during the year and two of them were based on points and assists, rather than the more common points and rebounds. She had 22 points and 10 assists in a 67-41 win over Spencer on Jan. 31 and 12 points and 10 assists in Gilman’s 65-23 win over Clayton in a WIAA Division 5 regional quarterfinal. She followed that up with 17 points and 10 rebounds in the Pirates’ 59-50 win over McDonell Central in the regional semifinal.
Highlight conference games for Grunseth this season included 19 points, four assists and seven steals in a 68-57 loss to league runner-up Loyal on Nov. 26; 14 points and eight rebounds in a 56-49 win at Greenwood Jan. 14; 14 points, five rebonds, four assists and three steals in a 69-62 win at Colby Jan. 28 and 15 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals in a 52-39 loss at Loyal Jan. 30.
Grunseth set a season-high of 30 points and added eight rebounds, five steals, three assists and a blocked shot in a 63-22 non-conference win at Rib Lake Feb. 3. She shot 51.2% overall from the field and 66.4% at the free throw line during the year.
Warner led Gilman in scoring and rebounding, averaging 14.3 points and 8.7 boards per game. She too played in all 25 of Gilman’s games and recorded doubledoubles in eight of them, equaling her total from a year ago.
Warner caught fire when the Pirates needed it down the stretch, averaging 18.2 points and 9.8 rebounds in the team’s final nine games. She had double-doubles in three of those games.
Warner led Gilman in free throw shooting, making 75.3% of her shots (55 of 73) and shot 43.5% overall from the field.
Many of Warner’s best games in conference play came against the league’s top teams. Those included an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double in the team’s early loss to Loyal, a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double in a 58-40 loss at conference champion Neillsville Jan. 23, a 12-point, 11-rebound, five-assist outing in the win at Colby and a 22-point, 13-re- bound, four-assist game in the team’s 60-44 win over Columbus Catholic on Feb. 6. She had 14 points and a season-high 17 rebounds in the team’s 84-39 blowout win over Greenwood on Feb. 17. She just missed another double-double in the team’s regional win over Clayton with 25 points and nine rebounds, but she joined Grunseth in notching a double-double in the regional semifinal win over Mc-Donell with 18 points and 12 boards.
Unable to play her freshman season, Warner came up just 65 points shy of the 1,000 mark for her career.
Neillsville went 15-1 to win the conference by two games over Loyal. Both teams won regional championships, but lost in the sectional semifinals to statebound teams in their respective brackets. Melrose-Mindoro eliminated Neillsville in Division 4, while Clear Lake took out Loyal in Division 5. Clear Lake eliminated Gilman 72-46 in a regional final.