Chaska Basketball - Schuelke

Sophomore Ashley Schuelke with a floater over Eden Prairie’s Nia Holloway, a now University of Minnesota commit, in the lane for Chaska in the Section 2-4A title game in March 2020.

2019-20 Record: 12-14 (4th Metro West, lost in 2AAAA quarterfinals)

Head Coach: Kayla Walsh

What to know: Walsh is the third head coach in three years for the Storm, replacing Arthur Crutch (now at Champlin Park). She was previously the JV coach in the Chanhassen program last season.

Key returners: Junior guard Callin Hake (22.7ppg/3-pt 32.4%) all-conference, 1,000 career point scorer, program's all-time leading scorer; junior guard Madi Hicks (7.8ppg/3-pt 31.9%), all-conference honorable mention; senior guard Ella Brastad (5.4ppg, 3-pt 33.3%), all-conference honorable mention.

Season outlook: "I think this season we are really going to surprise a lot of people. We have a challenging schedule, which will just help us rise to the occasion and have GRIT. Our players, at all levels, have really put in the effort and energy on and off the court to get better every day. They are doing a phenomenal job of pushing each other in practice to reach our goals," Walsh said.

Excitement from first week of practice: "Our potential. We have so much potential and this season we can really show the work we have put in. I am so excited just from the energy and effort is alone. The players are really challenging each other and the energy is GREAT! The players step on the court everyday with GRIT and focus! I could not be more excited for what is to come," the coach said.

2019-20 Record: 24-5 (1st Metro West, lost in 2AAAA finals)

Head Coach: Tara Seifert

What to know: Chaska lost in the section championship to Eden Prairie last season, coming one win away from the program's first state tournament appearance since 2010. The Hawks return all but one player from last year's roster.

Key returners: Junior post Mallory Heyer (19.6ppg/10rpg/2bpg), all-conference/Metro West player of the year, University of Minnesota commit; senior guard Kaylee Van Eps (11.3ppg/4.6rpg/1.3apg), all-conference/Metro West all defensive team, signed to play at Lehigh University next year; sophomore guard Kennedy Sanders (12.6ppg/3.3rpg/5.3apg), all-conference.

Season outlook: Chaska returns its top seven scorers, including Augustana University commit Kelsey Willems (6.7ppg, 2apg), Kendall Karrmann (5ppg), Ashley Scheulke (7.4ppg), and Kayla Hendrickson (2.5ppg). "We have an experienced, talented group of young ladies that are driven to make the most of this season. We have high expectations to be a top team in the state. We will also look to utilize our deep bench that includes athletic players and will bring a lot height to the court," Seifert said.

Circle these dates: Minnetonka (Feb. 12), St. Louis Park (Jan. 26, Feb. 19), Wayzata (Feb. 26), and Hopkins (March 5).

2019-20 Record: 13-16 (5th Wright County East, lost in 5AA semifinals)

Head Coach: Brandon Antl

What to know: Antl, previously an assistant coach for the men's program at Macalester College in St. Paul, takes over for Adrian Turner, who led the Fire for two seasons, including a consolation state championship in 2019. Starter Lucy Hertel is lost for the season with a knee injury.

Key returners: Junior guard Nicole Bowlin (11.3ppg), captain, all-conference honorable mention; sophomore forward Sophi Hall (10.2ppg), all-conference honorable mention; junior guard Reagan Cizek, freshman Sophia Zay, and freshman Berkley Neubauer all bring back experience, scoring and defense to the lineup.

Season outlook: "We expect to be competitive in every game we play. Making adjustments and adapting to new situations has become the norm for our girls and we will need to continue to be open minded and ready to adjust on and off the court," Antl said.

Excitement from first week of practice: "The first couple practices have been great to be with the team and get things rolling. We have a high effort group that competes every day and that’s all we can ask for as a coaching staff. Our returners have done a fantastic job of leading early on, their game experience and familiarity with each other will be key as the season progresses," the coach said.

2019-20 Record: 17-11 (5th Lake, lost in 2AAAA semifinals)

Head Coach: Leah Dasovich

What to know: Already a contender in Section 2AAAA, the Skippers gained an experienced guard in Ki'ani Lockett, a transfer from DeLaSalle who is closing in on 1,000 points for her career. Averaged 15 points per game as a sophomore.

Key returners: Junior guard Desiree Ware (11ppg, nearing 1,000 points for career), all-conference; senior forward Sophie Haydon (13ppg, 8pg), all-conference, George Washington commit; freshman forward Emma Dasovich (11ppg, 5rpg), all-conference.

Excitement from first week of practice: "Just being back in the gym is such a gift. There are changes, but the girls are adjusting and are very resilient. We’re thankful to be playing!" the coach said.

Lake Conference outlook: "It’s a race to the top in the Lake, as usual. Hopkins is the likely favorite, but Wayzata, STMA, and Eden Prairie are still very strong. And Edina and Buffalo are well-coached and young, so you’ve got to be ready for anything and everything. It is a battle every night in the Lake Conference, Dasovich said. "We always have a tough schedule, as the conference is strong top to bottom, then picking up tough section opponents like Chaska. There are no easy games this year."

2019-20 Record: 13-13 (4th Minnesota River, lost in 5AA opening round)

Head Coach: Eli Groenendyk

What to know: Groenendyk was previously the JV coach in the Southwest Christian program. He was a two-sport collegiate starter in basketball and football. Groenendyk is a Pastor of Discipleship at Calvary Church in Edina.

Key returners: Sophomore guard Chloe Brunsberg (12.1ppg/4.3rpg), senior forwards Hannah and Greta Schwarz (9.9-8.4ppg/4-4rpg). "Chloe is a pure shooter (made 49 three-pointers last season) that is developing her ball handling and defensive skills. She loves basketball and is putting in lots of extra work to get better," Groenendyk said. "Hannah and Greta are super excited they get to play their senior season and are intense competitors."

Season outlook: "Now every game matters that much more with only 18 games, and we won't take any game or practice for granted. I'm eager to see what we can do in our tough conference and section. We have been middle of the pack the last few seasons so it would be awesome to ascend towards the top. The girls put in the time and effort this summer, this winter through Zoom workouts, and now in practice so I hope we have a fun ride this season," the coach said.

Excitement from first week of practice: "Our team is now all about defense and the girls are learning how and when to be aggressive to disrupt the other team's intentions. We are fostering a culture of competition, competing in shooting drills, rebounding drills, and when we go 5-on-5. In one practice, Chloe, our leading scorer from last year, was hustling after steals and rebounds with so much effort she ended up on the floor three possessions in a row. That excites me as a coach!" he said.