Muskego's girls basketball team has taken a step forward in each of the past three seasons. Since winning just one game in 2013-14, the Warriors have upped their win total to six in 2014-15 and into double digits at 12 in 2015-16.
The upward trend continued this season, as Muskego won its final four regular-season games and its playoff opener to finish at 15-9 overall. Improvement was also made in conference play with the Warriors winning four more Classic 8 games than they did a year ago, going 7-7 in league play for their best finish since joining the conference in 2012-13.
"Overall, we had a good season," Muskego coach Brian Hirtz said. "Fifteen wins is an accomplishment we are proud of. We felt we got better as the season went along and were playing some good basketball down the stretch. The players worked hard every day and had good attitudes throughout the season."
Muskego began the season 5-5 before a four-game win streak in which it collected victories over Burlington, Waukesha South, South Milwaukee and Waukesha North. After then experiencing a stretch in which they lost three of four to fall to 9-8, the Warriors closed the regular season with conference wins over Catholic Memorial, Kettle Moraine, Waukesha South and Waukesha North.
Seeded seventh in the WIAA Division 1 Janesville Craig sectional, Muskego downed 10th-seeded Janesville Craig, 49-30, in its regional opener. The Warriors saw their season ended the following day with a 65-38 loss to second-seeded Sun Prairie in a regional final.
Junior guard Maddy Harrison led Muskego in scoring at 12.1 points per game and earned first team All-Classic 8 honors.
Earning honorable mention All-Classic 8 were junior guard Sarah Anderson (7.9 points), senior forward Hannah Kath (6.8 points), senior forward Leah Bolskar (6.5 points) and senior point guard Andrea Mlachnik (3.7 points).
Muskego will graduate three starters in Kath, Bolskar and Mlachnik and reserve forward Isabel Maier. While the loss of three all-conference players will be felt, the Warriors have quite a bit of talent returning.
In addition to Harrison and Anderson, freshman guard Savanah Balcerak (6.7 points) and sophomore forward Kenni Czarnecki (6.8 points) will be back after starting games throughout the season, as will key reserves sophomore guard Kenzie Balcerak (4.7 points), junior guard Kate Brandstatter (4.3 points) and junior forward Nina Radjenovich (2.0 points).
The Warriors will also receive help from their junior varsity team that won over 15 games and their freshman team that collected 20 victories.
"A lot of our scoring is coming back," Hirtz said. "We have to continue to get better defensively and continue to working on taking care of the ball.
"Savanah Balcerak had a great first season for us as a freshman and her game is going to continue to grow and she will be one of the best players in the area the next few seasons. Maddy will get college looks this summer and into next season. Sarah Anderson is a great scorer, and we are looking for big things from her for her senior season. Kenni Czarnecki and Kenzie Balcerak are both only sophomores and play aggressive and tough and are only going to get better. We are really looking forward to what we can do moving into next season."