The Hamilton junior varsity girls basketball team simply dominated this season.
The Chargers finished 22-0 overall and 14-0 in the Greater Metro Conference.
Opponents didn't get very close to the Chargers, either. Hamilton's closest win (five points) came in the first game of the season. Its next closest victory was by eight points and no other game was within 11 points. Hamilton averaged 59 points and gave up just 31 a game.
"I couldn’t be more proud of what they accomplished this season," coach Ben Filzen said. "It was just a great group to be around for 15 weeks. I really credit our four captains: Julia Nolde, Taylor Hibicke, Cean Faulstich and Elizabeth Behrndt. All of them were incredibly selfless and took on different roles and responsibilities this season to help the team be successful. Cean moved from playing post last season to primarily playing as a guard, Taylor was needed to score as much, Julia took on more of a shooting role, and E was expected to play a variety of defensive positions."
Hamilton's fifth starter was freshman Ana Rhude, who led the team with 325 points (14.8 points per game).
"Sometimes I worry about how a freshman will be received when being moved up," Filzen said. "Thanks to our great leadership and friendship on the team, Ana fit right in and really excelled this season. In addition, the players off the bench contributed incredibly well. Maddie Lang and Sydney Raymond played great in the post, Hailey Hilgart selflessly took on a new role as a guard, Mykayla Pena and Kenzie Kolesari provided a defensive lift as well as the ability to direct the offense, and Lynsey Power brought some scoring."
Filzen noted he was most proud of Claudia Baumann, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury around Christmas.
"It was sad when she told us she wasn’t going to be able to play again this season," Filzen said. "I give her a lot of credit; she was at every practice and every game watching her friends play a game she enjoys. It had to be tough on her but she hung with it and finished out the season, going above and beyond what we expected from her."
Filzen was assisted by Kelly Menden.
"She’s not like any other assistant coach I’ve had," Filzen said. "This is our third season together and she continues to improve on her ability to provide great insight into drills and techniques that is unmatched. I hope the girls realize how valuable she is to making them better players and better people. I also need to give credit to our stat man, Ron Bernardini, who volunteers his time to sit in the stands and keep stats for us, and then provide us with a detailed report. If he misses a game, we film it and he does it on his own time."