On a team with 11 of its' 13 players returning, the Knights look to fill a void that was Cassie Heinrichs as they look to remain near the top of Section 2A.
The Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s Knights basketball team loses 1,000 career point scorer and leader Cassie Heinrichs and Alexa Owens, but return 11 of 13 starters from last year’s team that fell to the Section 2A Champion BOLD Warriors at Gustavus. The Knights look to use another year of growth with their eyes set on a Section Championship this season.
Last Year’s Record
Players Lost to
Reagan Severson got heavy minutes throughout the season last year as halfway through her freshman season, she was inserted into the starting lineup. Woitas expects the work Severson has put in in the offseason pays big dividends as he looks for her to score a bit more this season.
Madison Mathiowetz averaged 26 points per game as a freshman last season while nearly averaging a double-double with 9.5 rebounds per game. Coach Woitas looks forward to Mathiowetz’s growth this season and in future years. “She is a player that puts in the time to make herself better, which in turn makes her team better.” Mathiowetz will also need to step into the role of leadership this season as she has led the team in scoring the past two seasons and will be relied upon all season.
Sydney Windschitl averaged 14.3 points per game for the Knights last season while averaging 6 rebounds a game. Woitas appreciates Windschitl’s efforts to get better in the offseason. “She works very hard at her game and that will make our team better.” Woitas also expects Windschitl to take on a role as a leader this season as she steps into her junior season.
Coach Woitas also expects Sophie Portner and Liz Schwint to be contributors this season as well. Woitas says of Portner, “Sophie is a player that will help us inside and she also is a very good defender.” Coach Woitas will lean upon the freshman Schwint often as she saw minutes as an eighth-grader last season. “Liz has the ability to be a scorer for us and also rebounds well and is a good defender.”
Strengths and Weaknesses
Woitas expects his teams experience pays off with 11 of 13 players returning from last season’s team. Woitas will look to implement his team speed and looks to play more of a pressing game this year defensively. Woitas also expects his team to be a bit more balanced as the Knights are strong both inside and outside the perimeter. One minor concern for the Knights may be the need to stay healthy with just 13 players on JV and varsity combined, but Woitas thinks the depth can also be strength for the Knights throughout the season.
The Tomahawk Conference looks to be very tough this season as many teams last season were young and will only improve this coming season. MVL returns a solid core of players, BLHS will be young, but should be placed amongst the top of the conference. Woitas also expects to compete with Springfield and GFW.
“I feel we will be a fun team to watch, we will have a number of players that will see the floor and last year they worked very well together and that will be our goal for this season. Improve on that and we hope we will see the results of that with more wins than a year ago.”