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Veteran coach takes over Nevis girls basketball team

A familiar face returns to take over as the head coach of the Nevis girls basketball team. Former head coach Paul Schroeder returns to the sidelines this season. In addition to being a former girls basketball coach, Schroeder has coached junior v...

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Ashley Pyburn (12) and Katie Kamphaus (54) will be counted on to lead the Nevis girls basketball team this season. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

A familiar face returns to take over as the head coach of the Nevis girls basketball team.

Former head coach Paul Schroeder returns to the sidelines this season. In addition to being a former girls basketball coach, Schroeder has coached junior varsity and varsity boys basketball, football, baseball, golf and cross country at Nevis.

"There was an opening for the head girls basketball position and I believed that I could be an asset to the program with my prior coaching experience," said Schroeder, who led the girls basketball team to two conference titles and three winning seasons in his three previous years as head coach. "I have a pretty good understanding of athletes and sports."

Schroeder inherits a program that returns only three letterwinners from last year's team that finished seventh in the Northwoods Conference standings at 6-10 and posted a 10-18 overall record. The Tigers ended last season on a positive note by receiving the No. 7 seed in the North for the Section 5A playoffs and defeating No. 10 Laporte 61-49 before falling to No. 2 Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 80-35.

Being counted on to lead the Tigers this season are senior Ashley Pyburn, junior Katie Kamphaus and freshman Ava Isaacson.

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Pyburn was named the Tigers' MVP after leading the team with 84 steals and 57 assists while scoring 106 points and grabbing 147 rebounds in 28 games as a starter. Pyburn made 38 of 135 shots (including 6 of 31 3-pointers) and 24 of 80 free throws in earning Northwoods Conference Second Team honors.

Kamphaus received all-conference honorable mention honors after leading the Tigers by averaging 10.4 points and 7.5 rebounds a game. Kamphaus compiled 281 points, 202 rebounds and 17 blocked shots in 27 games. The starting center made 126 of 252 field goals and 29 of 50 free throws while contributing 26 steals and 10 assists.

Isaacson was third in scoring with 180 points by connecting on 78 of 199 shots (including 8 of 33 3-pointers) and 16 of 38 free throws. In 28 games, Isaacson was second on the team with 187 rebounds while adding 27 steals and 33 assists.

Graduation left the Tigers with three key spots to fill. Tori Carrier led the Tigers with 25 3-pointers and 51 steals while adding 159 points, 82 rebounds and 24 assists in 28 games. Annalise Ahrendt tallied 54 points, 59 rebounds, 42 assists and 37 stelas in 27 games. Madison Neyens chipped in 42 points, 55 rebounds, 19 assists and 17 steals in 26 games.

That group helped the Tigers average 42.1 points a game while allowing 54.0 points a night. Nevis made 448 of 1,376 field goals (including 71 of 351 3-pointers for 32.6 percent) and 212 of 440 free throws (48.2 percent) while averaging 25.4 turnovers a game.

Looking to compete for the other starting positions and providing depth off the bench will be sophomores Sadie Thurner and Maggie Karl; and freshmen MaKenna Frazier, Makenzie Mitchell, Izzy Wallace, Amya Gilmore, Sonja Habedank, Hannah Buzzell, Marissa Engst and Alexis Johnson.

A year ago, Red Lake won the conference title at 14-1 while W-H-A was second at 14-2. Pine River-Backus (9-3), Clearbrook-Gonvick (12-5), Kelliher-Northome (9-8) and Cass Lake (9-8) also finished ahead of the Tigers. Lake of the Woods (3-10), Blackduck (2-15) and Laporte (0-16) rounded out the conference standings. Menahga defeated Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 56-52 in the Section 5A championship game.

"As long as I am here, we will keep building the girls basketball program regardless of our skills and numbers each year," said Schroeder. "My expectations are to work hard, play as a team, have fun and surprise some teams that believe we are too young or short on numbers to fight for some wins."

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SEASON SCHEDULE

Nov. 29 - vs. Blackduck, 7 p.m. Nov. 30 - vs. Laporte, 6 p.m.

Dec. 4 - Red Lake - 7 p.m. Dec. 6 - vs. Cass Lake, 7 p.m. Dec. 7 - at Clearbrook-Gonvick, 7 p.m. Dec. 15 - vs. Browerville, 1 p.m. Dec. 20-21 - at Pillager tournament. Dec. 28-29 - at Greenway tournament.

Jan. 8 - vs. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, 6 p.m. Jan. 10 - at Cass Lake, 7 p.m. Jan. 15 - vs. Kelliher-Northome, 7 p.m. Jan. 17 - at Park Rapids, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22 - vs. Sebeka, 7 p.m. Jan. 24 - vs. Clearbrook-Gonvick, 7 p.m. Jan. 29 - at Laporte, 6 p.m.

Feb. 2 - at Lake of the Woods, 2 p.m. Feb. 5 - at Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, 6 p.m. Feb. 8 - at Blackduck, 7 p.m. Feb. 12 - at Pine River-Backus, 7 p.m. Feb. 15 - at Kelliher-Northome, 7 p.m. Feb. 19 - at Bertha-Hewitt, 7 p.m. Feb. 21 - vs. Verndale, 7 p.m. Feb. 22 - vs. Hill City/Northland, 7 p.m.

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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