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Everyone's back for New London-Spicer Wildcats

Seven of NLS’ top nine return from a team that was Wright County Conference co-champs

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New London-Spicer's Grace DeSchepper puts a shot up over a Benson defender during a non-conference game at NLS High School. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

NEW LONDON — The New London-Spicer Wildcats are loaded with experience and talent.

The trick now is to have it all come together.

For what it’s worth, head coach Mike Dreier is up to the task. As he begins his 42nd season, including a 933-180 career record, he returns a squad that went 20-7 and earned co-Wright County Conference championship honors with Annandale. Both were 12-2.

“With all of our starters and seven of our top nine returning this season, our players expect to be in the mix to compete for conference, sub-section and section championships,” Dreier said. “We will have a team with a very nice blend of inside and perimeter athletes.”

Top players back include Payton Mages (5-foot-8, senior, guard), Emma Hanson (5-8, Jr., F), MacKenzie Rich (5-7, Jr., G), Ava Kraemer (6-0, Jr., F), Erin Knisley (6-2, Jr., C) and Grace DeSchepper (6-1, Jr., C).

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New London-Spicer's Ava Kraemer shoots a layup against Glencoe-Silver Lake at New London-Spicer High School. Jake Schultz / West Central Tribune

It’s an impressive group that will be aided by Isa Ommodt (5-9, Sr., F), Emily Giere (5-7, Sr., F), Avery Rich (5-7, Fr., G) and Jaden Coahran (5-7, Fr., F).

The scoring was balanced, led by Hanson (11.6 points per game), Rich (10.9), Knisley (7.9), Kraemer (6.6), DeSchepper (5.9) and Mages (5.8).

Kramer (8.9 rebounds per game), Hanson (6.0 rpg), Knisley (6.0 rpg) and DeSchepper (4.7 rpg) are top rebounders.

Mages (4.1 assists per game) is a top play-maker and defender (2.2 steals per game).

Hanson, Rich and Knisley were All-Conference performers.

But the section is again tough. Dreier figures Eden Valley-Watkins, Morris/Chokio-Alberta, Minnewaska Area, Benson and Redwood Valley are all top Section 3AA contenders.

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And, there are things to work on.

“We need to mature as players and as a team to perform at a higher level in late-game situations,” Dreier said.

Don’t count against them doing it.

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New London-Spicer's Erin Knisley shoots a jumper against Glencoe-Silver Lake at New London-Spicer High School. Jake Schultz / West Central Tribune

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