Fronk leads a list of four Raider girls honored by the GNC
ALL-GNC GIRLS BASKETBALL
Ranking among the league leaders in scoring, free throw shooting and steals, Medford junior Marissa Fronk earned a well-deserved spot on the 2019-20 All-Great Northern Conference basketball team.
Fronk bumped up a level after earning second-team honors last season. She was one of four Raiders to receive awards following the voting process for this year’s All-GNC teams.
Senior Sierra Hanson landed on the second team for the second straight year, while senior Brynn Rau and sophomore Rynn Ruesch received honorable mention.
Medford’s honors followed a season where the Raiders finished fourth in the league standings at 7-5 but were a solid 17-7 overall under third-year head coach Jessica Faude.
Fronk joined Rhinelander’s Kenedy Van Zile and Cynthia Beavers and Lakeland’s Abby Parris and Julianna Ouimette on the first team. Van Zile and Beavers shared Player of the Year honors. Van Zile, the all-time leading scorer in Rhinelander basketball history, Beavers and Ouimette, a freshman, were unanimous picks for the squad. Rhinelander’s Ryan Clark repeated as Coach of the Year after leading the Hodags to their second straight 12-0 season in league play and a WIAA Division 2 regional championship.
Fronk ranked seventh in the conference in individual scoring by averaging 14.6 points per game in 12 conference games. She ranked third in free throw percentage at 72.2% (52 of 72) and fifth in steals with 49 for an average of 4.1 per game. Ouimette led the GNC with eight steals per game.
Fronk also averaged 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in GNC play.
Overall, Fronk’s averages were 15.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 1.6 assists per game, all of which were improved from a year ago, except for a slight dip in rebounding.
Fronk’s main responsibilities were to provide scoring punch, handle the ball and provide defensive ball pressure, which she certainly did most nights.
She hit double figures in 21 of 24 games and had as many as eight steals, six assists and six rebounds at various points throughout the year.
One of her top all-around performances came in a 64-49 home win over Mosinee on Jan. 10 when she scored a season-high 26 points and had 11 defensive deflections. She had five steals, three rebounds and two assists in that win. She had another notable performance in a 56-52 loss at Lakeland Jan. 28, where the Raiders nearly pulled off a miracle comeback in the last two minutes. She had 25 points, five rebounds, five steals and four assists in that game.
She had 16 points and eight steals in an 83-18 win over Tomahawk Jan. 31 and 11 points, five rebounds and six assists in a 73-21 win over Northland Pines Feb. 10.
Hanson, a four-year letter winner, set Medford’s season scoring high of 28 points in that Feb. 10 win over Northland Pines and finished 10th in the GNC’s scoring rankings by putting in 10.5 points per contest in league play. She was right behind Fronk by hitting 72% of her GNC free throws (18 of 25).
Medford’s other primary ball handler and another pesky defender, Hanson averaged 3.2 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.3 assists in GNC play. Overall, she averaged 9.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.3 steals while playing in all 24 games.
Hanson added five rebounds and four steals in her special Senior Night effort against Pines. Other outings that helped her gain the second-team spot included 11 points, six assists, five steals and five rebounds in a 61-12 win at Tomahawk on Dec. 13; 14 points in a 59-34 win at Antigo on Jan. 24; 18 points, four assists, three steals and three rebounds in the Jan. 31 win over Tomahawk and nine points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals in a 41-34 late-season loss at Mosinee.
Rau and Hanson were the team’s lone seniors and provided strong leadership on a team loaded with sophomores. While earning her first All-GNC award in basketball, Rau averaged 6.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.0 steals per game in GNC play. Overall, the numbers were nearly the same at 6.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals in 23 games played.
Rau’s biggest night in GNC play this season came in the Senior Night win over Pines when she scored 14 points while making three of seven 3-point shots. She had five rebounds, four assists and three steals in that win. She had a season-high 15 points and six rebounds in a Jan. 14 65-45 non-conference win at Nekoosa.
Rau had two solid games against the GNC’s top two teams in December. She scored 13 points and had a season-high eight rebounds and two steals in a 67-49 loss to Rhinelander on Dec. 17 and 10 points, five rebounds and two steals in a 48-41 loss to Lakeland three days later.
She finished with a strong effort in Medford’s 46-37 WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal loss at Onalaska on Feb. 28 with seven points, six rebounds and five steals.
Ruesch gained honorable mention for the second straight winter after ranking sixth in the GNC in rebounding by grabbing 5.5 per game. Ruesch also averaged 6.4 points, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game in league play. Overall, she finished at 6.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.
Ruesch had an impressive 16-point, 14-rebound double-double in the Jan. 10 win over Mosinee and had 16 rebounds in the Dec. 20 loss to Lakeland. She scored a season-high 17 points in a 63-55 non-conference win at Stanley-Boyd Jan. 6 and had 13 points, four rebounds and three steals in a 61-46 loss at Rhinelander Feb. 7.
The Raiders, who won their first WIAA Division 2 tournament game since 2016 when they beat Rice Lake 50-40 on Feb. 25, should bring most of their young roster back next year, looking to build on this year’s success. Four of the team’s seven losses came to Rhinelander and Lakeland, with both Lakeland games coming down to the wire.
Two of the team’s other sophomores also showed up in the GNC’s individual rankings as Katie Brehm averaged 5.1 rebounds and Laurissa Klapatauskas averaged 4.8 rebounds in conference play.
Medford had, by far, the top scoring defense in GNC play, allowing just 38.5 points per game. The Raiders ranked fourth in scoring offense (56.3), third in rebound (31.3) and second in free throw percentage (63.4%).