The Wayzata Girls Basketball Team is Ready for a Stellar Season

Diane Meyer, Staff Writer

The Wayzata Girls Basketball team is currently 7-1 this season, coming off a stinging defeat last spring in the section final at the hands on Hopkins, who went on to win the state championship. Wayzata was ranked second in the state that season, and the team has picked up right where it left off on the leaderboard. Hopkins is again ranked number one. 

“We don’t take anything for granted,” said head coach Micheal Schumaker when asked about a potential rematch of that section final this season. “We’ll have a good idea of what its going to look like [after] playing [Hopkins] twice in the regular season.”

Despite losing valued players Kallie Thiesen and Mimi Schrader, the deep and ever evolving trojan team has convincingly beaten all but one of their opponents.

The Trojans’ junior forward Jenna Johnson said “Each girl has had to step up to try to fill the void they left statistically.”  

Even so, “We have lots of kids back that played a lot of minutes last year,” said  Schumaker. “So I would say it is more similar than it is different.”

Senior captain Annika Stewart agrees, “We lost three seniors, but the rest of us just got better.” 

The Trojans’ largest margin of victory was 42 points in an 86-44 win over Prior Lake on the sixth of December. The team’s closest won game, and only victory that has not been by double digits, was a nine point victory over tenth ranked Maple Grove. They recently lost to fourth ranked Park Center.

“Going into this season our mentality is to play every game like it’s our last. We work hard in practice and we want to make it show in each game,” said Stewart. 

Stewart is one of Wayzata’s three players with double digit points per game averages, along with sophomore Mara Braun and Johnson who has an impressive 24.2 PPG. Johnson is currently seventh in the state for total points with 194 (21 points ahead of Hopkins star and University of Connecticut commit Paige Buekers). 

Johnson said of the team bond, “I’ve known and played with a lot of [my teammates] since 4th grade so they definitely feel like family to me.  We are all really good friends off the court and I think that translates to how we play on the court. We look for each other and are truly excited to see each other succeed.”

Of the team’s developments Stewart said, “We’ve worked hard and our mental toughness is better. [That] is a key factor in the game.”

Wayzata’s toughest game yet this year was yesterday (Wednesday 18th) against undefeated Park Center. Wayzata was only down one point at the half, but Park Center pulled away with an eventual nine point gap guided by Adalia Mckenzie, who is currently first in the state for total points scored (276) and second for PPG average (30.7). 

“We have been challenged in some games and have had to respond so I think that has shown our character and the trust we have in each other and our system,” said Johnson.

A tough game, a tough season ahead — Wayzata is ready to prove themselves.