2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 11/21/2013 9:26 AM

Girls basketball: Scouting Wauconda

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  • Wauconda's Jessie Wood fights for a rebound against Grant's Kaylie Kanzler last season. Wood, a junior, enters her third season on varsity.

      Wauconda's Jessie Wood fights for a rebound against Grant's Kaylie Kanzler last season. Wood, a junior, enters her third season on varsity.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer



Coach: Jaime Dennis (sixth season)

Last season: 6-22, 2-10 in NSC Prairie, lost to Regina Dominican in Class 3A Ridgewood regional final

Key players lost: F Lexie Redmann, G Maggie LePage

Returning players: Sr. G Lauren Nee, Sr. C Kelly Haberichter, Sr. G Jena Heck, Jr. G Natalie Harding, Jr. F Jessie Wood, Sr. C Dani Sturm, Sr. F Kelli Stanley

Newcomers: Sr. G Paige Motley, Jr. G/F Maddie Gaschler, Sr. G Anna Wisniewski, Sr. F Jackie Lung, Fr. C Katie Rossetti, So. F Amber Head, Jr. G Chynna Ivory

Outlook: The Bulldogs' popularity spiked this month. "We actually had to run tryouts for the first time ever," coach Jaime Dennis said. "That was a new experience for the girls -- and coaches. We didn't cut anyone from the program, but we did move kids around." Dennis kept 14 girls on her varsity roster. moving four upperclassmen to the JV team. While the roster is big, Lauren Nee, who's maybe the Bulldogs' best player, is small. The senior stands only 5 feet, but she's a three-sport athlete who handled a lot of responsibilities for the Bulldogs last winter. A three-year varsity starter, she earned all-conference honors last season. "We had to depend on her so heavily last year," Dennis said. "She was our only choice to handle the ball, our only choice to score. Now she's got a lot of help." There are seven juniors, many of whom played on the undefeated JV squad last season. "We definitely have a lot more depth than we've ever had," Dennis said. "We'll be a lot more athletic than we were last year." The roster also includes sophomore forward Amber Head and 6-2 freshman Katie Rossetti. Head played with the varsity all summer. "She's going to be a huge contributor to our team," Dennis said. "She plays some great defense and has some really good instincts." Rossetti is the Bulldogs' tallest player since former star Lauren Mead. "She's a volleyball player as well, but basketball is her No. 1, and you can tell," Dennis said. "She does a lot of things really well." Junior guard Natalie Harding played varsity last season, after being pulled up to the sophomore team as a freshman. "It's nice that she's back with her classmates," Dennis said. "Usually it makes a little bit of a difference when they all get back together." Senior centers Dani Sturm and Kelly Haberichter, junior forward Jessie Wood and senior guard Jena Heck, who's recovering from ACL surgery earlier this year, all got varsity starts last year. Wood has played varsity since her freshman year. "I have a lot of kids that can play a forward position, handle the ball, be a guard," Dennis said. "It's going to relieve a lot of pressure off Lauren (Nee)."

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