Here are the top 25 high school girls basketball players to watch in the Post-Crescent area this season

Here are the top 25 high school girls basketball players to watch in the Post-Crescent area this season

The 2023-24 high school girls basketball season is underway and here are 25 of the top players in the Appleton area this season.

Sienna Anderson, sr., St. Mary Catholic, 5-9

Averaged 7.7 points, 3.5 assists, 3.3 steals and 3.0 rebounds last season. Was an honorable-mention selection to the all-Big East North team. Is on the wissports.net top senior shooters watch list. “Sienna has stepped up and taken the leadership role this year on the team and has done an outstanding job with that,” St. Mary Catholic coach Jeff Chew said. “She also has worked on her on-ball defense and has improved that.”

Addison Baumgart, jr., Kaukauna, 6-0

Was a second-team all-Fox Valley Association selection. Averaged 13.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.4 assists. “Baumgart is a terrific scorer and playmaker,” Kaukauna coach Joe Russom said. “Her size and ability to handle the ball make her a difficult matchup for opponents. This season with Alexa (Kinas) out, we know she will have a target on her. She has accepted it and worked hard to prepare for it. Addie always could score, but her development on the defensive end and as a leader has been exceptional. She has accepted every challenge the coaching staff has thrown at her. That is the kind of leader every team wants.”

Josie Djupstrom, sr., Kaukauna, 5-7

Averaged 5.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.0 steals. Is on the wissports.net top senior shooter watch list. “Josie has developed into the leader and player we have always seen in her,” Russom said. “Her growth and development as a player have been an asset this season. She has given us a consistent option as not just a scorer, but a leader on the floor. That is a credit to her hard work in the offseason.”

Jazelle Gowdy, sr., Appleton West, 5-7

Averaged 11.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals. Is on the wissports.net top senior point guard list. “Jazelle has a huge passion for the game that you can see through her grit and aggressive plays on the court,” Appleton West assistant coach Malik Thompson said. “She is a leader who never fails to hype her teammates up and make them feel important both on and off the floor. Jazelle will be a pivotal player for us this season as we look to her ball-handling skills, outside shooting and her strong post moves inside the paint. She proved in our season opener that she’s a threat from anywhere on the floor and we’re expecting her to have her best season yet as she finishes out her senior year with the Terrors. We’re so proud of her.”

Adahlyn Hoerl, jr., Chilton, 5-10

Was a second-team all-Eastern Wisconsin Conference pick. Averaged 15.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.4 steals last season. “She is one of the hardest-working athletes at any level I have ever been around,” Chilton coach Tyler Guenther said. “She puts in the work constantly in all parts of her game to be the best she can be. Our team is lucky to have the player, but also the person around — someone who will do anything it takes to win and wants what’s best for the team. She is a great leader and someone with an extremely bright future in anything she does, both on the court and off.”

Rayanna Jenkins, so., Menasha, 5-3

Was a second-team all-Bay Conference selection. Averaged 9.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2.7 assists. “She was a second-team all-conference selection as a freshman and has a very bright future,” Menasha coach Natalie DeMichei said. “Her leadership and scoring threat as a point guard are her strengths, while her defensive awareness and ability to steal the ball sets her apart from many perimeter defenders. We are very excited to see what this year brings for her and our team.”

Amaya Jones, sr., Neenah, 6-1

Averaged 5.1 points and 7.3 rebounds before suffering ACL injury late in the season. Should return to the court in early December. Is on the wissports.net top senior post watch list. “She is a very talented post player. She is a solid rebounder, defender and passer,” Neenah coach Andy Braunel said. “We expect her to be back sometime in mid- to late December. She is a difference-maker for us. She has great court vision and is a skilled post defender and rebounder.”

Rowan Klesmit, so., Neenah, 5-5

Lightning-quick guard is one of the top sophomores in the state. Averaged 7.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 assists. “Rowan had a great year as a freshman for us last year and she has made a ton of strides in the offseason,” Braunel said. “Her ability to beat people off the dribble is impressive and her outside shooting has gotten even better. Rowan’s biggest strides have come on the defensive end. She made this a major focus in the offseason and that is evident.”

Raegan Krueger, jr., Kimberly, 6-1

Was an honorable-mention all-FVA selection. Averaged 7.4 points and 5.5 rebounds. “Raegan’s growth last year as a sophomore from the start of the season to the end of the season was vast,” Kimberly coach David Lepisto said. “The game started to slow down for Raegan and she became a major threat on the offensive end for us. Raegan also became an excellent rebounder. This season she will build on how she ended last season. She has had an excellent beginning to the season. Raegan is a positive vocal leader and has also improved her skill set. She is able to score facing the basket but even more importantly for us, she has the ability to score with her back to the basket. Raegan is also an excellent passer out of the post.” 

Paige Lillie, sr., Hortonville, 5-9

Averaged 4.5 points and 1.9 rebounds and is expected to take the next step in production this season for the Polar Bears. Is on the wissports.net top senior shooter watch list. Butler University commit for softball. “Paige is unique because she brings us another level of mental toughness and athleticism that she’s built by thriving in three sports,” Hortonville coach AC Clouthier said. “She is a dying breed of three-sport athletes today. Paige doesn’t just participate in those athletics, but is a big piece to each team. She is a good defender and a high percentage shooter and does lots of little things well. She will make teams pay if they leave her open and is a good enough driver to create open shots for others.”

Gracie Martzahl, jr., Freedom, 5-5

Was a second-team all-North Eastern Conference pick. Averaged 7.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.1 steals. “Gracie is entering her third season as a varsity player and has been an integral part of our past success,” Freedom coach Mike Vander Loop said. “With her experience we are looking for Gracie to model leadership on and off the court. Gracie is a very versatile player who has proven that she can be a difference-maker on offense and defense. I believe that Gracie is in a position to put together an outstanding season.”

Kate McGinnis, jr., Kimberly, 5-10

Was an honorable-mention all-FVA selection. Averaged 10.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 steals. Has verbally committed to Belmont. “Kate’s role is going to expand this season,” Lepisto said. “She is an outstanding 3-point shooter, an excellent ball handler and also decision-maker. She can score inside and outside. No one will outwork Kate and, consequently, she has expanded her skill set this past offseason. This season will be Kate’s third year as a starter on the varsity and she is confidently ready to become an even bigger piece of our team puzzle. Kate has always been a lead by example kid and is now finding her voice as a vocal leader.”

Jensen Mix, sr., New London, 5-10

Was a second-team all-Bay Conference selection. Averaged 8.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals. Is on the wissports.net top wing watch list. “Jensen is one of our leaders and makes all of the effort plays,” New London coach Cody Clark said. “She is someone we have guard our opponent’s scoring threat because of what she gives us on defense and she’ll be someone we will be looking to make some big shots for us this year.”

Torie Neubauer, jr., Appleton East, 5-11

Was a second-team all-FVA selection. Averaged 14.9 points and shot 47% from the field. Also averaged 8.3 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals. “She has the versatility to play both inside and step outside and shoot from the perimeter,” Appleton East coach Brian Paschen said. “This makes her a tough guard as an opponent. That being said, her best trait is the one that nobody really sees — her unselfishness as a teammate. Torie never looks to force her game or build her stat line. She is always trying to find ways to get other teammates started or involved. She knows in the end it betters the team as a whole and yet she’ll still end up with hers through the natural flow of the game. Great asset to have. This will be extremely important for us this year as we have several players who can score the basketball and only one ball to share.”

Audrey Norville, sr., St. Mary Catholic, 5-11

Was a second-team all-Big East North selection. Averaged 11.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 2.6 assists. Will play collegiately at Black Hills State University. Is on the wissports.net top senior shooters watch list and top point guard list. “Audrey is the leader on our floor. She plays point guard, she handles the ball effectively and is our defensive stopper,” Chew said.

Kallie Peppler, sr., Hortonville, 6-0

Was a unanimous first-team all-FVA selection. Averaged 14.0 points and shot 52%. Also had 7.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.3 blocks. Is on the wissports.net top defensive player watch list and top wing list. Will play collegiately at UW-Milwaukee. “Kallie is having a strong start coming off her ACL injury from last year,” Clouthier said. “Her full participation is not known yet, but when 100% she will have an incredible year. It is difficult to think how our team could have been without her injury last season. She is one of our best defenders, rebounders, facilitators and scorers. Her overall speed allows our team to gain the edge in creating the tempo we want. Her ability to run the floor in transition, create space and shoot the three make her incredibly difficult to guard. She is also 6-foot and long, creating many advantages for her scoring inside and rebounding.”

Savanna Robinson, jr., Kaukauna, 5-7

Averaged 8.7 points, 2.8 steals and 2.7 assists. “Savanna has battled a lot of injuries last season and this summer. We have her healthy and her role has shifted,” Russom said. “She will have more responsibilities leading our crew on the floor in the absence of (Alexa Kinas). But she accepted her role as have others. You will see her biggest growth will be in the scoring column. More actions will be set for her and she has developed her shot over the offseason. Her defense has always been stellar. Now it’s up to her to take off and lead.”

Carsyn Stempa, sr., Xavier, 5-7

Was a second-team all-Bay Conference pick last season. Averaged 9.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 3.2 assists. Is on the wissports.net top senior post watch list. “She is super excited to have most of her injured teammates from last year back,” Xavier coach Andy Vande Hey said. “I know Carsyn carried a heavy burden trying to make things happen for the team. This year I expect her to create chaos for our opposing teams’ guards. She is a super-gifted athlete and will definitely help us achieve our goal of controlling the tempo of the game. She can shoot from the outside and take it to the rim. She is very fun to watch. She is quiet and reserved and very humble. In her senior year I expect her to come out of her shell and lead.”

Natalie Sunita, sr., Clintonville, 5-10

Averaged 12.3 points and 8.6 rebounds. Is on the wissports.net top senior post watch list. “Natalie is hard to guard one-on-one because of how strong she is down by the basket,” Clintonville coach Nick Yaeger said.

Halle Vande Hey, sr., Xavier, 6-0

Averaged 11.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists last season. Is on the wissports.net top senior post list. “She is hungry after missing so many games last year and super excited to be on the floor,” coach Vande Hey said. “The day after the volleyball state championship she was in the gym shooting. Like Carsyn, she is a gifted athlete. I expect her to have a great season and be that matchup nightmare for a lot of teams. She can shoot from the outside and finish on the inside and is a great defender. What I like most about Halle is how she helps everyone on the court be the best version of themselves. Her presence was dearly missed last year and she will be a game and practice changer for us every day.”

Kate Vandenberg, sr., Appleton North, 5-8

Averaged 10 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals last season. Will play collegiately at UW-Stevens Point. “We have high expectations for her this season,” North coach Brandon Reichenberger said. “Kate is a dynamic player and dual-threat type player. She is an explosive player and has the ability to use her strength and size to score inside, but can also score the ball from the outside too, which makes her a tough matchup for many of our opponents. I would fully expect her scoring numbers to elevate even more this season along with the intangibles, rebounding the ball and getting her teammates involved.”

Rainey Welson, jr., Hortonville, 5-10

First-team WBCA all-state in D1. Unanimous first-team all-FVA and also on the FVA all-defense team. AP all-state third-team selection. Averaged 19.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.8 steals. Scored 41 points in Hortonville’s victory over Neenah in a sectional final that catapulted the Polar Bears to the state semifinals. “Rainey is obviously an extremely talented basketball player that plays at such a high level,” Clouthier said. “She led our team (and most of conference) in almost every category but rebounds and blocked shots. Her court vision and awareness is one of the best I’ve ever been around. It is scary to think that she has improved her game since last season. She is physically stronger, built her offensive skills and is mentally more prepared as well. She has proven and has the ability to take over basketball games at any time. She has another level to her game that we have not yet seen.”

Mikayla Werner, sr., Hortonville, 6-0

Was a second-team all-FVA pick. Averaged 9.1 points and shot 56%. Also averaged 7.8 rebounds. Is on the wissports.net top defensive player and post watch lists. Will play collegiately at the University of St. Thomas. “I do not believe many people know the capabilities of Kayla,” Clouthier said. “She had a terrific summer developing and improving her game. When Kayla is on the floor, it’s like any shot is a good shot because of her ability to offensive rebound. That is huge for our team and shooters to shoot with confidence all game long, knowing that we have her underneath. Kayla can score with her back to the basket as well as stretch the floor with her shooting. Lastly, her ability to defend (one-on-one) in the post and block shots is rare.”

Olivia Witkowski, jr., Weyauwega-Fremont, 6-0

Was a first-team all-Central Wisconsin Conference East selection. Averaged 20.0 points last season and shot 54% from the field. Also pulled down 8.6 rebounds and averaged 2.1 steals and 1.3 assists. “Leading into her junior season she is only going to get better,” Weyauwega-Fremont coach Jason Parker said. “She is a fierce competitor and her passion for the game is evident that shows on a daily basis with her work ethic and preparation. That remains obvious here in the early stages of the season. She is a vocal leader and leads by example. We expect her to grow within the team concept while not taking away from her strengths. Overall, you can expect Olivia to rise to the task at hand and not back down whether it’s offensively or defensively. She just gets it.”

Neenah poised for big year: ‘We’re getting everyone’s best’: Led by UConn recruit Allie Ziebell, Neenah girls basketball team poised for big season

Allie Ziebell, sr., Neenah, 5-11

University of Connecticut commit was a unanimous first-team all-Fox Valley Association pick and the league’s player of the year. Was also selected to the FVA’s all-defensive team. Helped lead the Rockets to a second consecutive Division 1 sectional final. Was a unanimous first-team Associated Press all-state pick and first-team WBCA all-state in D1. Was named the Gatorade state player of the year. Averaged 25.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks. Is on the wissports.net top senior shooter, defensive player and post player watch lists. “Without a doubt, she is the best all-around high school player I have ever coached or witnessed (in person or on video),” Braunel said. “She is a complete player, great leader, hard worker who has an out-of-this-world basketball IQ. She is obviously our motor and the key to the 2023-2024 Rockets. She is as good as they come.”

Other players to watch

Hailey Bechard, so., Waupaca; Salem Boyd, sr., Seymour; Abbie Cropsey, jr., Freedom; Addison Daelke, sr., Little Chute; Alexis Garcia, sr., Shiocton; Camden Hale, jr., Brillion; Lilly Meulemans, jr., Appleton East; Hannah Neubert, jr., Menasha; Kardyn Peppler, fr., Hortonville; Taylor Rogers, sr., Winneconne; Macie Studzinski, sr., Waupaca; Ella Sweeney, fr., Appleton East; Ella Verbeten, so., Wrightstown; Emily Vogel, jr., St. Mary Catholic; Avery Werfal, fr., Appleton North; Shayna Williamson, sr., Appleton North.

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