Wildcat girls reflect on outstanding season

By Theo Tate
Posted 3/25/23

After his Montgomery County girls basketball team lost to Skyline in a Class 3 sectional game on Feb. 28 at Jefferson City High School, coach Joe Basinger had a really tough task.

He had to say …

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Wildcat girls reflect on outstanding season


After his Montgomery County girls basketball team lost to Skyline in a Class 3 sectional game on Feb. 28 at Jefferson City High School, coach Joe Basinger had a really tough task.

He had to say goodbye to one of the most successful senior classes in program history. Carissa Doyle, Bailey Fischer, Carson Flake and Maddie Wisdom helped the Wildcats win four Eastern Missouri Conference and two district championships and finish with four winning seasons.

“They’re the first ever group to win four straight conference championships and the first ever group to win back-to-back district championships,” Basinger said. “They can go out saying what no one else can say. They were part of all of it. They played minutes in all of it. You can’t say enough about those kids and the way they battled. They were really great leaders for us this year.”

The seniors helped the Wildcats finish 22-7 overall and 10-0 in Eastern Missouri Conference play this season. They finished with a combined total of 220 points, with Flake leading the way with 160.

Doyle, Fischer, Flake and Wisdom played with the MCHS program all four years. Basinger, who wrapped up his seventh season as coach, said he remembered meeting them for the first time when they were in middle school.

“We spent a lot of time together over the course of the seniors’ last six years,” Basinger said. “I was taken to the middle school shootouts when they were in middle school.”

Next year, Basinger will have another strong senior class as six juniors will return, three of them earned all-EMO and all-district honors.

Junior Malia Rodgers was the Wildcats’ leading scorer with 448 points, earned first-team all-conference honors and was named the Class 3, District 7 Most Valuable Player. She was named MVP of the Montgomery County Invitational and was named to the all-tournament teams at South Callaway and Hermann. Rodgers broke the 1,000-point mark for her career in the sectional contest against Skyline.

Junior Maddy Queathem was the team’s second-leading scorer with 328 points, helping her land a spot on the all-conference and all-district teams. She broke the school mark for most 3-pointers in a game, season and career.

Junior Olivia Shaw led the Wildcats in rebounding with 266 and was named to the all-conference and all-district teams. Claire Cobb, Madi Polston and Morgan Koch rounded out the junior class.

Sophomores Aliviah Fischer, Karla Gonzalez, Avery Leu and Miley Rieke also saw some playing time with the varsity. The Wildcats had no freshmen.

MCHS began its season on Nov. 21 with a 36-34 win over Sullivan at home, its seventh straight season-opening victory. The Wildcats finished second in all three regular season tournaments they competed in – Montgomery County, South Callaway and Hermann.

By beating Elsberry 36-18 in the battle of undefeated EMO teams on Feb. 13, MCHS clinched its fourth straight league championship and extended its conference winning streak to 41 games.

The Wildcats played Hermann five times this year. After losing to the Bearcats in the championship game at its own tournament, MCHS won the next four meetings, including a 50-30 win in the district title game on Feb. 25.

With the loss to Skyline, the Wildcats were eliminated in sectional play for the second straight year. The last time they qualified for the state quarterfinals was in 1991.

Also this year, the junior varsity team finished 6-4. Rieke, Gonzalez, Fischer, Leu, Doyle, Wisdom, Cobb and Polston were among the players.

“Although we struggled through injuries and limited numbers, this group of younger girls showed up everyday to practice and helped our varsity accomplish many things this year,” JV coach John Klekamp said. “It is a testament to the commitment of these girls as many of them did not get to play in very many games this year, but they were out there cheering on our varsity bench every game.”

The Montgomery County Middle School girls basketball team had 11 eighth graders and 13 seventh graders. Olivia Spurgeon, Khloe Kribbs, Emersyn Schroeder, Sarah Waters, Jillian Weekley, Aubrey Janes, Reese Hill, Kaylee Daume, Reaghan Hemeyer, Lily Hillebrand and Grace Thier made up the eighth-grade class. Emma Cobb, Emma Rodgers, Sullee Falloon, Zoey Ryan, Keira Ray, Addie Schroer, Raelin Mull, Abbigail Tucker, Kendra Rakers, Alyssa Huff, Baya Hoffmann, Mieka Ray and Kenley Wessel were the seventh graders.

The seventh graders finished 8-5 and had a second-place finish in the North Callaway Tournament. The eighth graders were 11-3 and came in second at the Bowling Green Tournament.

Audra Heimer and Miranda Brandenburg were the coaches.


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