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MCC girls preview: Crusaders taking on a new look

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Caroline Strande, the all-time leading scorer in Racine County basketball history who is playing at Minnesota, graduated in 2020.

Morgann Gardner, a 6-foot-2 post presence, is a freshman for Nebraska-Omaha.

Is this the end of a spectacular five-year run for the Racine Lutheran High School girls basketball team, during which they went 94-24 and won at least a share of three Metro Classic Conference championships?

Not at all. While coach Steve Shaffer, who has overseen the greatest success in the history of the Crusaders’ program, may no longer have that one go-to player, he still has plenty of talent.

With senior Nevaiah Bell-Tenner and juniors Ellie Jaramillo and Sarah Strande (Caroline’s sister), Shaffer has an experienced trio to lead a young team.

At Catholic Central, coach David Beebe hopes to an experienced team led by Maddy Von Rabenau and Julia Klein can take a big step.

And two new coaches will try to reverse the fortunes of their respective teams. Abby Jaramillo, the 1994 All-Racine County Player of the Year at St. Catherine’s who is a member of the Racine County Sports Hall of Fame, takes over at Prairie.

Adam Mulheron, a junior varsity coach at Catholic Central last season, takes over at St. Catherine’s.

Catholic Central

COACH: David Beebe, second season.

LAST YEAR: 5-18 overall, sixth place in the MCC with a 1-15 record. Lost to Albany 67-51 in a WIAA Division 5 regional semifinal.

Madeline Von Rabenau, Catholic Central

Von Rabenau

ROSTER (x-returning letterwinners): Seniors — x-Maddy Von Rabenau, 5-6 guard; x-Julia Klein, 5-11 guard; x-Morgan Ramsey, 5-10 wing; x-Katie Walkington, 5-6 wing. Juniors — x-Olivia Ricci, 5-4 guard; x-Eva Lynch, 5-9 post; x-Stephanie Jabrial, 5-2 guard; x-Kayla Loos, 6-0 post. Sophomores — x-Addison Schwenn, 5-5 guard; x-Jayden Garratt, 5-6 guard; x-Paige Kerkhoff, 5-4 guard; x-Myah Ramsey, 5-7 wing.

Julia Klein, Catholic Central


OUTLOOK: Considered by Beebe to be “the two lead horses” are Von Rabenau (12.5 points, 5.5 rebounds) and Klein (12.7 points, 12.3 rebounds). Both are on pace to reach 1,000 career points this season. There are also Morgan Ramsey (4.6 points, 5.5 rebounds) and Loos (6.2 points, 6.8 rebounds), who Beebe said, “will bring a solid inside presence with a bevy of post moves.” Jayden Garratt returns as the Lady Toppers’ defensive stopper and with an expanded offensive repertoire this year, Beebe said.

“This team is hungry to learn and get better,” Beebe said. “They are just scratching the surface of what their abilities are and understanding what we are trying to accomplish. By the end of this season I feel we will be a very dangerous team.”

Racine Lutheran

COACH: Steve Shaffer, seventh season.

LAST YEAR: 17-4 overall, 15-1 conference, tied with Greendale Martin Luther for the Metro Classic Conference championship. Lost to Whitefish Bay Dominican 45-41 in a WIAA Division 3 regional championship.

Nevaiah Bell-Tenner, Racine Lutheran


ROSTER (x-returning letterwinners): Seniors — x-Nevaiah Bell-Tenner, guard; x-Sam Fisher, guard; x-Megan Walek, forward; Justyce Nelson, guard. Juniors — x-Ellie Jaramillo, guard; x-Sarah Strande, guard. Sophomores — Salma Ibarra, guard; Madi Mandujano, guard. Freshmen — Julia Kellner, forward; Allison Rosborough, guard; Sofie Kading, forward; Avery Westcomb, guard.

Ellie Jaramillo, Racine Lutheran

E. Jaramillo

OUTLOOK: Three starters return in Bell-Tenner, a first-team All-MCC selection after averaging 11.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 2.7 steals, Ellie Jaramillo, an honorable mention All-MCC pick after averaging 7.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.4 steals and Sarah Strande (6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 2.1 steals).

“Strengths this year will be our guard play and speed,” Shaffer said. “Nevaiah, Ellie, and Sarah have put in a lot of work in the off season playing AAU so I look forward to seeing them take another step in their improvement from last year. After those three who have a lot of playing experience, we are very inexperienced at the varsity level. Who steps up and fills in the remaining roles on the team will be the key to this season.”

St. Catherine’s

COACH: Adam Mulheron, first season.

LAST YEAR: 3-19 overall, seventh place in the MCC with a 2-14 record. Lost to Somers Shoreland Lutheran 49-61 in a first-round WIAA Division 3 regional game.

Heavenly Griffin, St. Catherine's


ROSTER (x-returning letterwinners): Seniors — x-Heavenly Griffin, 5-3 point guard; x-Tanyia Abdullah, 5-3 guard; Maribel Sanchez, 5-2 guard; Emily Monosa, 5-5 guard-forward. Juniors — x-Kennedee Clark, 5-11 guard-forward; Katelyn Gordon, 5-8 guard-forward; Arianna Jones, 5-8 forward. Sophomores — x-Angelina Ortiz, 5-6 guard-forward; Ariana Green, 5-7 forward; Aaliyah Mayfield, 5-7 guard-forward. Freshman — Azarianna Albritton, 5-11 forward.

Kennedee Clark, St. Catherine's


OUTLOOK: St. Catherine’s returns four starters, led by Griffin (who earned honorable mention All-MCC honors after averaging 10.1 points per game, Clark (12.4 points, honorable mention All-MCC), Abdullah (6.8 points) and Ortiz (8.2 points).

In addition, Mulheron said “the Angels have a team loaded with depth, capable of going nine or 10 deep.” Returning to play after a two-year absence because of an ACL injury is Monosa. Other expected key contributors will be Gordon, Green and Jones. Also, Mulheron said, “for the first time in several years, the Angels have a physical post presence in Albritton.”

“With the depth, length, and size we have, I’m looking for good things to happen this season,” he said. “This group of girls is talented, committed, and ready to take the next step in Angels girls basketball.”

The Prairie School

COACH: Abby Jaramillo (Garchek), first season (replaces Alan Mills).

LAST YEAR: 4-19 overall, eighth place in the MCC with a 1-15 record. Lost to Kenosha St, Joseph 55-42 in a WIAA Division 3 semifinal.

ROSTER (x-returning letterwinners): Senior — x-Kennedi Hamilton, 6-1 post. Juniors — x-Sophia Lawler, 5-10 shooting guard; x-Jackie Palmen, 5-7 post. Sophomores — x-Ava Collier-White, 5-4 point guard; x-Reese Jaramillo, 5-9 shooting guard; x-Lily Jorgenson, 5-8 forward; Georgia Swedberg, 5-11 forward. Freshmen — Jasonya “JJ” Barnes, 5-8 point guard; Meg Decker, 5-5 point guard; Winter Schienke, 5-9 post.

Ava Collier-White, Prairie


OUTLOOK: With only one senior, the Hawks will be young. Collier-White (8.5 points, 3.2 rebounds) is the only returning player with postseason honors (honorable mention All-County, honorable mention All-MCC). There are two promising freshmen, Abby Jaramillo said, in Decker and Barnes. Jorgenson and Reese Jaramillo saw extensive playing time as freshmen. Lawler (8.0 points, 4.0 rebounds) is a sharpshooter who contributed significantly last season.

Lily Jorgenson, Prairie.jpg

“We have a young group of players who have a ton of potential,” Abby Jaramillo said. “If they continue to work hard, push each other, stick together and compete, this will be a fun season for the program.”


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