WAKEFIELD – After completing the second year of a cooperative agreement, the Wakefield-Allen girls basketball team saw an improvement of eight wins but have gone their separate ways entering 2020-21.
Wakefield-Allen finished with a record of 4-15 in the 2018-19 season compared to 12-9 this past season.
Kent Emswiler took over the Trojans this past season and is a current sixth grade math teacher in South Sioux City. Coach Emswiler said the team wanted to be competitive in every game.
“That was kind of the mindset going in and the girls bought into that philosophy,” said Emswiler. “They were competing in every game and I think that was a good start and we had that throughout the year.”
The Wakefield-Allen girls basketball team began the year with a 64-52 loss to Pender before winning four straight, with three being on the road. After splitting games during the Shootout on the Elkhorn, Wakefield-Allen suffered back-to-back losses to teams from out of state being Westwood (IA) and Siouxland Community Christian (IA). The Trojans then won six of their next eight entering the Lewis & Clark Conference Tournament.
Coach Emswiler added the staff saw improvement throughout the season.
“We started playing players that progressed in the season and they were getting more and more playing time,” Emswiler added. “Which kind of changed our philosophy of run and gun to kind of methodically try to score and pound it inside a little bit. We saw some growth in players and that’s really what we saw.”
Wakefield-Allen defeated Osmond 57-39 but lost to Ponca 58-14 in the following round of the conference tourney. The Trojans were challenged twice at the end of the year as well as opening the C1-3 subdistrict with two straight losses to Winnebago (78-51 and 51-33).
Coach Emswiler mentioned about a handful of their losses came from a pair of teams being Winnebago three times and Ponca twice.
“We got to find a way to beat the teams that are competing and that’s kind of the take away,” Emswiler mentioned. “If we could have stolen a couple of those wins, we would have probably put ourselves in a better situation for districts.”
An Allen-native Jordyn Carr paced Wakefield-Allen during her first two years of high school with 19.1 points per game this past season as well as leading the team with 5.6 boards, 4.1 assists and 5.0 steals per game. Carr finished with 11.1 ppg in 2018-19.
Freshman Alex Arenas (10.7 ppg/4.4 rpg) will be the top returning scorer who was second in both scoring and rebounding as Wakefield will bring back four starters along with young talent joining the varsity team.
Other players from Wakefield included sophomore Aishah Valenzuela (10.5 ppg/3.9 rpg), junior Kassidy Brudigam (5.0 ppg/2.6 rpg), junior Rachel Borg (4.2 ppg/3.9 rpg), junior Anna Lundahl (3.0 ppg/3.1 rpg), junior Maddie Mogus (2.1 ppg/1.5 rpg) and freshman Makenna Decker (0.8 ppg/1.7 rpg).
Coach Emswiler will lead Wakefield next season while Cory Brown is still on staff and the team will look to hire one or two more assistants.
Coach Emswiler is hoping for the return group to develop an inside-game.
“We shot a plethora of three-point shots this last season,” said Emswiler. “We probably led Class C1 in three-point attempts. So, we’ve got to have a kind of a combination of both outside and inside game and that will show a way to improve.”
The lone senior on the team was Ally Twohig from Allen while other Allen players were juniors Alli Jackson and Carly Dickens.
Coach Emswiler added Wakefield will remain competitive next year.
“The girls are excited for the new venture,” Emswiler added. “I know they’re going to miss each other. They did develop a good relationship with the two towns. They’ve developed some life-long memories, of course and some friendships along the way but I think they’re ready to move forward.”
Wakefield would drop back to Class C2 which they competed last in the 2017-18 season finishing with a record of 6-15.