A fairly young Maquoketa Valley girls’s basketball team battled through multiple injuries and tough challenges and finished off a great 2019-20 season.
MV went 17-5 overall with just one senior, Brooke Elgin, on the team. As both a leader and a player, she showed tenacity and growth throughout the season.
“Brooke is the model of what it means to keep putting in the work, and seeing it eventually pay off,” coach Scot Moenck said. “She didn’t play much varsity her first three years, but she never quit, she never complained, she was always a good teammate, and she was always coachable.
“Brooke worked a lot on her own, and this season she had an outstanding senior year. She was an amazing leader and was a major reason we were as successful as we were. Without her, we for sure would not have had the season we did. She was a leader in the locker room and on the floor, she does all the little things that people don’t see. I know I speak for everyone on the team when I say that we are truly going to miss Brooke.”
The Wildcats fared very well in what many thought would be a rebuilding season.
“We lost a big portion of last year’s team that won 20 games,” Moenck commented. “Then losing Emerson Whittenbaugh before the year started as well as losing Kylie Chesnut two games into the season, we had every excuse not to have a good year. So I imagine outside of our locker room there weren’t many high expectations. But these kids would not accept that. We had an amazing season. It was so fun to watch every single player in our program grow individually and collectively. I’m not sure if I have ever been more proud of a group before. They just kept pushing through.”
The Wildcats started the season on a hot streak, earning wins against Edgewood-Colesburg, Sumner-Fredricksburg, Prince of Peace, Monticello, Bellevue Marquette, Cedar Valley Christian, Lisbon, and East Buchanan in the first eight weeks. Their first loss came against North Linn who eventually went on to win the Class 2A state title. MV then won against Central City, Clayton Ridge, Starmont, Alburnett, Ed-Co, and Springville in the remainder of their season.
“The future is very bright for this team. We are going to have a lot of experience back next year and Emerson Whittenbaugh will be back which will be a nice shot in the arm. She is an outstanding player who plays with a nonstop motor,” Moenck commented. “With that being said, there will be a lot of expectations for next year’s squad. That is the way we want it. We will have to put in the work to reach our goals. If we do that, we could have a special season.”
Statistical leaders for MV were: points-per-game — Taya Tucker 15, Ella Imler 14.9, Brooke Elgin 5.9, Trista Elgin 4.4, Carissa Sabers 4.1, Kennedy Rausch 1.8, Kylie Chesnut 1.7, Emma Richter one, Anna Deutmeyer, Caelyn Sands, and Liz McDowell 0.9, Erin Knipper 0.7, Ella Mensen 0.5, Avery Krapfl 0.4, and Paige Winter 0.3; rebounds — Tucker 184, Brooke Elgin 150, Imler 99, Trista Elgin 58, Sabers 52, Deutmeyer 29, Chesnut 23, Knipper 16, McDowell and Rausch 15, Sands 10, Krapfl eight, Richter three, Winter one; assists — Imler 104, Tucker 37, Sabers 26, Brooke Elgin and Trista Elgin 20, Sands 10, Rausch nine, Chesnut and Knipper six, Deutmeyer two, McDowell and Mensen one; steals — Tucker 88, Imler 54, Brooke Elgin 37, Sabers 34, Trista Elgin 19, Rausch 14, Sands seven, Deutmeyer and Chesnut six, Knipper three, and McDowell two; blocks — Tucker 21, Brooke Elgin 10, Deutmeyer and Sands two, Elgin and Sabers one.