Never a team to back down from the challenge and anxious to defend their state championship, the Hanover Lady Wildcat basketball opened the 2023-24 season December 1st taking on Thayer Central (Neb.) and while tested at first the Lady Wildcats look primed to be a top team once again in 23-24 after picking up a 60-41 win.
Keepng it close in the first period, Hanover took a bit to get their footing in this one but still leading 10-7 Coach Chris Beikmann found no reason to panic "It was a slow start offensively but once we settled in things went a lot smoother." Beikmann said. It was in that 2nd quarter when a familiar name to TVL fans, Katelyn Klipp, took over for Hanover. 6 points and staking her claim to the low bock, Klipp suddenly became the dominant force that Hanover is used to, grabbing several rebounds and going up in traffic to get to the basket. She finished as the leading scorer with 18 points whie also grabbing 10 rebounds and thanks to a big defensive effort, Hanover led 28-11.
In the 2nd, 3 players were able to notch their first points of the game as well. Gracie Bruna earned a 2 pointer early on in the period as did Drew Bruna, the latter adding a free throw later to give her 3 points on the night. Kaydence Schotte would hit from deep to extend the Hanover lead in the 2nd, Schotte finished with just 3 points but lead the team defensively in steals, as she was able to step in the passing lanes of many Thayer Central players.
Once the 2nd half came, it looked like the Hanover of old with big time offense and pressuring defense knocking their opponent back on their heels a bit. Hanover was looking to deal the final knockout blow. That came in the form of Junior Guard Anna Jueneman who showed out with 12 of her 14 points coming after intermission. With the way she has started and the amount of time she has already accumulated on the courts for the Wildcats it's not a far stretch to think Jueneman should be one of the top guards in a league full of excellent ones.
The Wildcats finished with 9 players on the scoring sheet, led by the 18 point 10 rebound double-double from Klipp and the stron 2nd half performance from Juneman. Tessa Lohse and Trinity Schlabach earned 6 points each, Schlabach adding 3 assists as she was able to pick apart the TC defense.
Kaydence Schotte and Leigha Jueneman each finished with 3 points as did Drew Bruna. Bruna getting her's the old fashioned way while Hanna Zarybnicky rounded out the scoring with 2. Division II number one ranked Hanover takes the court next on Saturday against Division I's top ranked team, Little River on Saturday in Goessel, a game with a 3pm tipoff in what should be an instant classic.