The Minnewaska Area girls basketball team had a successful season this winter, going 12-13 overall and 6-6 in the WCC to place fourth of eight teams.

The Lakers were 0-7 to start out the season, after playing seven state-ranked teams, but then went 12-5 over their next 17 games before losing to West Central Area in the section opener, 74-59.

The Lakers were seeded third in their half of the section, while the Knights came in as the sixth seed after losing to Minnewaska Area twice during the regular season.  The Lakers, coached by Sidney Schiffler, led the game 42-30 at halftime before the Knights came roaring back to claim the upset win.  

The Knights moved on to face Montevideo and the Thunderhawks earned a narrow 57-49 victory to advance to the sub-section finals where it was defeated by top-seeded NLS.

•  Minnewaska Area will graduate four seniors from this year’s team — Olivia Bleick, Mikalyn Andreas, Brooke Kolstoe and Leslie Murken.

The full 2022-23 girls basketball varsity roster this winter at Minnewaska Area High School includes seniors Mikalyn Andreas, Olivia Bleick, Brooke Kolstoe and Leslie Murken; juniors Jenna Drewes and Avery Fier; sophomores Sydney Dahl, Emily Peabody, Lauren Stryhn, Addyson Kath and Megan Thorfinnson; and ninth-graders Lauryn Ankeny, Kendall Danielson, Olivia Danielson, Jayda Kolstoe and Alia Randt.

During the final game of the season, the Lakers went with a starting five of Brooke Kolstoe, Sydney Dahl, Megan Thorfinnson, Avery Fier and Leslie Murken.

Helping out Schiffler with coaching duties this year are Emily Roering, Makenzie Larsen, Josh Greene, Linda Mills (8th grade) and Gabe Eisenbacher (7th grade).

Season statistics

In final season statistics released by head coach Schiffler, the leading scorers for the Lakers this season were Megan Thorfinnson, Sydney Dahl and Brooke Kolstoe.

Thorfinnson had a team-high 290 points, averaging 11.6 points per game over 25 games, while Dahl had 247 points this season and averaged 9.9 points per game and Kolstoe had 244 points, averaging 9.8 points per game.

Those three combined to average 31.3 points out of the Lakers’ average of 49.9 points per game.

Also scoring more than 50 points this season were Jayda Kolstoe with 113 points (4.5 average per game), Lauryn Ankeny with 92 (3.7 ppg), Leslie Murken with 86 (3.4 ppg) and Avery Fier with 81 (3.4 ppg).

The top 3-point shooters for the Lakers this year with a minimum of 10 attempts were Ankeny (6-of-18, 33 percent) and Jayda Kolstoe (13-for-40, 32 percent), while the top two-point field goal shooters were Brooke Kolstoe (21-for-254, 35 percent), Dahl (85-for-257), 33 percent) and Jayda Kolstoe (31-for-92, 33 percent).

The top free-throw shooter meanwhile, were Alia Randt (12-of-17, 70 percent), Thorfinnson (50-for-76 (65 percent), Brooke Kolstoe (56-for-100, 56 percent) and Dahl (47-for-83, 56 percent).

The Lakers shot 30 percent as a team on two-point field goals, 26 percent on 3-pointers and 55 percent from the free-throw line.

The top two rebounders for Minnewaska this winter were Dahl with 168 boards (6.7 per game) and Brooke Kolstoe with 142 (5.7 rpg), while Jayda Kolstoe was third with 68 (2.7 rpg), Thorfinnson was fourth with 66 (2.6 rpg) and Ankeny was fifth with 50 (2 rpg).

The Lakers had four players with over 40 steals this year, including Thorfinnson with 54, Brooke Kolstoe with 46, and Dahl and Ankeny with 43 each, while Dahl (45 blocks) and Thorfinnson (31) were the top two shot blockers and also led the Lakers in assists with Thorfinnson dishing out 38 and Dahl 29.

Other season information

•  Montevideo won this year’s conference title with a perfect 12-0 league mark, followed by BOLD (9-3), Sauk Centre (8-4), Minnewaska (6-6), WCA (4-8), Morris Area-CA (3-9) and Melrose (0-12).  Benson did not play a full conference schedule this year because of a lack of players.

•  The Lakers scored 60 or more points three times this season, going 3-0 in those games.  Minnewaska Area also scored over 50 points 12 times, going 9-3 in those games. Minnewaska Area, which scored a season-low 33 points during a loss to NLS midway through the season,  scored 56 or more points in each of its final seven games.

The high point total for the Lakers this winter was 71 points during a 71-42 win over Morris Area-CA, which came just over two weeks after the Lakers lost at Morris Area, 49-39.

Defensively, the Lakers allowed 60 or more points seven times, going 0-7 in those games.  Minnewaska Area gave up a season-high 74 points in its final game against WCA, which scored 44 points in the second half.  The season-low for points allowed by the opponent was 28 points during a 36-28 win at home over Melrose Area. The Lakers held their opponent under 50 points 12 times, going 9-3 in those dozen games. 

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