Sunday, June 24, 2018
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Girls endure learning season

Growing pains come with inexperience.

Like a parent watching his or her child suffer from the sometimes excruciating leg pain associated with a growing body, Gothenburg girls basketball coach Tim Peterson had to endure the growing pains of an inexperienced basketball team this season.

Although the Swedes had six seniors on the team, few players came to the court with varsity experience.

“We struggled a little more than I anticipated,” Peterson said of his 4-18 team. “I knew we weren’t going to start strong offensively but I thought we’d be a little tougher on defense.”

The coach said he changed defensive philosophy a bit this year to match his personnel.

“I’ve run a straight man-to-man defense for the past 11 years,” he said. “I always thought it was better to beat a team one-on-one.”

But Peterson switched things up a bit to make this team more diverse.

“I thought a zone and man mix would make them a better team in the long run,” he said.

The Swedes gave up 1,192 points while scoring 777.

“I really thought we’d have more success as far as wins are concerned but hopefully the girls took away some good lessons from the season,” Peterson said.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t some successes on the team.

Senior guard Shelby Eggleston worked her way onto the Gothenburg High School all-time Top 10 chart taking over No. 5 in steals in a season by nabbing 72.

“Shelby is just a tremendously hard worker whose motor runs at 100 miles an hour all the time,” Peterson said. “She had a very strong second half of the season.”

Eggleston also finished as the second leading scorer on the team with 120 points.

Freshman post player Regan Geiken didn’t break into the Top 10 but she is well on her way to leaving her mark on the program, Peterson said.

Geiken finished as the Swedes’ leading scorer and rebounder with 164 points and 124 rebounds.

“As long as she continues to develop as a player, she will provide a big positive in the future,” the coach said.

Peterson said notable performances also came from seniors Ali Clark, who became a reliable ball handler as the Swedes’ point guard, and Janae Wiggins, who served as Gothenburg’s jack-of-all-trades.

“We grew to expect a lot from Ali and she embraced that role,” Peterson said. “And Janae knew every position. She did a lot of the little things to make sure there was always continuity on the floor.”

Fellow seniors Karen Franzen, Jordyn Haake and McKenzie Geiken contributed as well.

For coming off a major knee injury last year, Peterson said Franzen did a nice job rebounding, finishing second on the team in that category with 95.

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