Girls' basketball preview: Maxwell Wildcats

MAXWELL, Neb. (KNOP) - In her first two year as head coach of the Maxwell girls' basketball team, Kassie Schuett has led the Wildcats to records of 12-10 and 11-11.

Senior guard Madison Heinzen brings the ball up the court during a practice (Credit: Patrick Johnstone/KNOP-TV)

Only two players graduated last year, and Schuett will have a lot of seniors for year three, so she hopes this is the year all the schemes she has been implementing the last two seasons can click with her players.

"We have all of our offenses and defenses that we know, and now we're just working to capitalize on them, and take care of what we need to take care of," Schuett said.

With a team with a lot of experience, aspirations are high for this season.

"We've got a good team this year. We're looking to go quite far this year, actually," senior guard Madison Heinzen said.

Returning players who have played together for several seasons, the Wildcats are hoping the team can click early in the season.

"I think we'll definitely have the chemistry that we had last year," said senior Janie Sommer.

"Most of us have been playing together for many years now, and we seem to all know quite a bit about the game, and we know where to go, and what to do, and teaching the younger kids is helping a lot too," Heinzen said.

Schuett believes the team will be balance this season, with solid post players, as well as capable shooters.

"We're pretty solid all the way around, so it will be fun to see how we take that into the season," Schuett said.

Last year, the Wildcats were strong defensively, but struggled offensively, so this year Schuett wants to focus on improving the offense, while maintaining a good defense.

"Our defense is everything, so we're trying to get them to fly around, and be where they need to be, and get active and keep their hands up," Schuett said, "If we can keep teams down, we don't really have to score as much. We're going to really focus on offense this year, and see if we can get more scoring."

The Wildcat players have been working hard in early practices, and hope the hard work translates into their game play.

"The way you work in practice is how you're going to perform in a game, so we've just been working to keep up the intensity and go hard all the time," Heinzen said.

While the Wildcats are hoping to win this season, Schuett also has her eye on the future with the younger players on the team.

"We have a lot of senior leadership, so that'll be fun, and I think we're just really looking for them to help the young girls, so when they leave we have something left to build on," Schuett said.

The Wildcats will head to Thedford to play Sandhills/Thedford on Dec. 6 for their first game of the season.