Baxter’s girls basketball team had a record-setting season. The Bolts set a new program record with 20 wins, cracked the Class 1A rankings for the first time and won a share of the Iowa Star Conference South Division title.
A pair of juniors highlighted the Bolts on the all-conference teams announced recently. But a large senior class also played a big part in the program’s best season.
Juniors Elie Tuhn and Lilie Vansice were named to the ISC South first team after leading the Bolts in scoring. Seniors Sophie Meyer and McKenzie Eslinger both were second-team selections and senior Maddie Pierce earned honorable mention recognition.
Baxter head coach Eric Padget also was named Iowa Star Conference South Division Coach of the Year after guiding the Bolts to an 11-1 record in league play.
It was the first ISC Coach of the Year honor for Padget, who missed several practices and games this season due to personal reasons and COVID-19.
“I appreciate the recognition the conference coaches gave us by selecting me as coach of the year,” Padget said. “However, I can’t stress enough that coach of the year is a team award. In order for a coach to be recognized, it starts with the players.
“Our players made us coaches look very good this year. The award is also due in large part to my assistant coaches. I missed several practices and games this year, and the team didn’t miss a beat. My three assistant coaches — Dan Tuhn, Kyle Krampe and Aaron Shanks — led with character, energy and passion throughout the year.”
All-conference honors are based on statistics inside conference play only.
Tuhn ranked second on the team and seventh in the conference in scoring at 10.5 points per game. She also ranked first in the league in steals at 3.6 per game, ranked fourth in assists at 3.2 per game and grabbed 4.1 rebounds per game.
She also shot 40 percent from the floor, 45.5 percent from the free-throw line and drained 26 percent from 3-point range. She was 12-of-46 from deep.
Vansice’s 10.6 points per game led the Bolts and ranked sixth in the conference. She also averaged 4.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game while shooting 50 percent from the floor.
She made 60 percent from the line and connected on 39 percent from 3-point range, making 7-of-18.
Meyer ranked second in the conference in assists at 3.7 per game. She also averaged 7.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.2 steals per contest.
Meyer shot 43 percent from the floor and 57.7 percent from the line. She connected on 39 percent from 3, making 19-of-48.
Eslinger was fifth in the conference in rebounding at 6.3 per game. She also scored 7.9 points per game, shot 50 percent from the floor and hit 35 percent from the charity stripe.
Pierce had the best season of her career with per game averages of 8.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.9 steals. The 2.0 assists per game ranked 10th in the conference.
Pierce also made 35 percent from the floor and 50 percent from the line. She made 21 percent of her 3-point attempts, hitting 8-of-38 from deep.
Iowa Star Conference
Team Conference Overall
Baxter 11-1 20-3
Collins-Maxwell 11-1 22-2
Colo-NESCO 6-6 11-9
Meskwaki Settlement 5-7 8-12
North Tama 5-7 8-13
GMG 4-8 6-14
Valley Lutheran 0-12 0-18
Player of the Year
Reagan Franzen, sr., Collins-Maxwell
Coach of the Year
Eric Padget, Baxter
Elie Tuhn, jr., Baxter
Lilie Vansice, jr., Baxter
Reagan Franzen, sr., Collins-Maxwell
Alexis Houge, jr., Collins-Maxwell
Deandra Navarro, sr., Meskwaki Settlement
Rylee McLean, sr., North Tama
Sophie Meyer, sr., Baxter
McKenzie Eslinger, sr., Baxter
Erica Houge, fr., Collins-Maxwell
Jenna Banks, sr., Colo-NESCO
Geanna Bear, jr., Meskwaki Settlement
Emily Vaughn, sr., GMG
Maddie Pierce, sr., Baxter
Brooke Christie, sr., Collins-Maxwell
Izabell Voelker, jr., Colo-NESCO
Jenna Yilek, jr., GMG
Summer Youngbear, jr., Meskwaki Settlement
Abby DeBoef, sr., North Tama
Taylor Mauser, so., Valley Lutheran