Lady Falcons display promise for future

First- year head coach enjoys strong debut season at SFHS
by Steve Ottman
Falls News Correspondent


THE MEMBERS of the 2017-18 Sheboygan Falls High School girls basketball team are (bottom row, left to right) Maddie Specht, Amanda Milne, Kayla Zeier, Claire Smallwood; (middle row) Myja Durn, Alyssa Sommerfeld, Allison Antonie, Nicole Van Engen, Jordyn Girdaukas; (top row) Sara Klemme, Lauren Verhulst, Emma Wollert, Coach Mark Olivieri. – Photo courtesy of Network Photography THE MEMBERS of the 2017-18 Sheboygan Falls High School girls basketball team are (bottom row, left to right) Maddie Specht, Amanda Milne, Kayla Zeier, Claire Smallwood; (middle row) Myja Durn, Alyssa Sommerfeld, Allison Antonie, Nicole Van Engen, Jordyn Girdaukas; (top row) Sara Klemme, Lauren Verhulst, Emma Wollert, Coach Mark Olivieri. – Photo courtesy of Network Photography After putting together a successful 2017-18 season, the future looks bright for the Sheboygan Falls High School girls basketball team.

Falls finished with a 17-7 overall record and a 10-4 mark in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference, which was good for third place in the EWC standings.

The Falcons defeated Two Rivers in the WIAA Division 3 regional playoff opener. However, they were eliminated by Kiel in the semifinal game.

First-year head coach Mark Olivieri was very pleased with the success of the Lady Falcons this year.

“This was a young team that took a step forward in my first season as coach,” said Olivieri. “We accomplished our team goals and provided a positive preview of what lies ahead for this team.”

The Falcons finish strong in a tough EWC race, splitting games with EWC champion Valders and losing twice to second-place Kiel by a total of four points.

“Five of our seven losses were by five points or less,” Olivieri stated. “This was a team that could have won 20 games. We progressed well in the first year with this system.”

The Falcons will lose four seniors, including starters Alyssa Sommerfeld and Allison Antonie, as well as Nicole Van Engen and Lauren Verhulst.

“These seniors provided great leadership and a willingness to accept their new coach and new system,” remarked Olivieri. “They set the tone for our program,”

Falls will return seven players next season, including junior Alayna Milne and sophomores Myja Durn, Claire Smallwood, Kayla Zeier, Emma Wollert, Jordyn Girdaukas and Maddie Specht.

“We expect to be a fast-break team next season,” Olivieri projected. “This young team is very talented group and needs to work even harder. “They have two years of opportunity here.”

Olivieri also commented that the JV team posted an 18-4 record this season and expects the sophomores to be a key to the depth for next season.

Sommerfeld was selected to the All-EWC first team for the second consecutive year, while Durn was named to the All-EWC second team for the second consecutive year. Antonie repeated as an All-EWC honorable mention selection.

Sommerfeld was sixth in the EWC in scoring, averaging 13.0 points per game and finished sixth in rebounding with 6.1 boards per game.

Durn finished third in the EWC in scoring with a 13.7 scoring average and was second in rebounding with 8.8 boards per contest.

Antonie scored 9.7 points per game to finish 11th in scoring and was fifth in rebounding with 6.2 rebounds per game.

Smallwood led the Falls team and the EWC in assists with 94.


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