STRASBURG — Craig Moffett, a 2004 Stewardson-Strasburg graduate, takes over as the girls basketball coach at Windsor/Stewardson-Strasburg after Mariah Bolin resigned to be a physical education teacher (third through sixth grade) at Seneca Elementary School, where she also coaches the sixth grade.
Bolin is a 2005 Cumberland grad and coached the Hatchets for five years, going 62-49 (.559), including a best-ever 22-6 team that lost in the Class 1A regional championship to Central A&M.
Moffett was an assistant coach under Bolin in 2017-2018, coached at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond for four years, going 70-34 (.673), which is the best winning percentage in the history of the Arthur, Arthur-Lovington or ALAH program. He was also an assistant for three years under Jenny Marner, who was 42-54 (.438) in four years.
WSS has five returning letter winners back from last year in juniors Chloe Dasenbrock, Mikala Nichols, Anna Schlechte and Hannah Hayes along with Natalie Hayes. Both Natalie and Hannah were on the volleyball team that reached the Sweet 16 and played last Friday, five days after the first day of basketball practice. However the team has just eight players with no seniors on the squad.
"Mikala Nichols and Mariana Hoene (junior) are post players and freshman Serenity Weeden is kind of a post," said Moffett. "Our team chemistry is our biggest strength. They are all great kids. They are not perfect, but they work hard and work together. We are a guard-oriented team. I think some people will think we will have a down year just because of numbers, but there other schools with low numbers. We will play fast. We will try and have fun; not that they didn't in the past."
Hannah Hayes is the top returning scorer at 9.4 points per game, while Nichols averaged 7.9.
"Nichols should have a good year," said Moffett. "She is skinny with long arms and athletic and fast. We will try and score off long rebounds if the ball goes to a guard or we will have a long possession and try and kill the clock to let them catch their breath. Ball security will be huge."
Gone from last year is the all-time leading scorer in girls basketball or Stewardson-Strasburg boys basketball, Megan Schlechte, who was on the JG-TC All-Area team last year. She averaged 16.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 1.7 blocks per game last season as well as 2.9 assists per game. She had 1,754 career points and is playing volleyball and attending Lewis University.
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Joining Moffett as an assistant coach is Katrina Davis, a 2019 Stewardson-Strasburg grad Katrina Davis, who averaged 6.7 points per game last season.
"I told her last year that she would be a good coach someday," said Moffett. "I just didn't realize it would at this point. She is going to Lake Land and it worked out. She will be a huge plus."
With a total of eight players, Moffett and Davis expect to play some in practice so that hey can go five-on-five.
WSS, who will not play a junior varsity schedule, averaged 57.1 points per game last year and allowed 41.4
"Defensively we will do a lot of things," said Moffett. "We will press and play man-to-man as we rebound better out of man and we are small also."
The Hatchets open Nov. 19 at Cerro Gordo against Cerro Gordo/Bement.
"We want to enjoy the game and play hard and be annoying and scrappy," said Moffett. 'We want to be competitive on a daily basis and appreciate the game of basketball. Hopefully, we will get better as the year goes. Altamont and Brownstown/St. Elmo, we play early and those two are probably two of the best teams we play. Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City will be solid also."