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Seniors sweep awards for New Berlin West girls basketball

Team ends season with 16 victories

March 17, 2014

Following New Berlin West's loss to Eisenhower in the regional semifinals, veteran Vikings girls basketball coach Jef Radtke summed up his squad's season.

"We were very happy with our season," he said. "As a staff, we exceeded our expectations. With how young we were — we lost six seniors and just had a couple kids return — and if you told me we would win 16 games, I would have said 'Sign me up right now. We'll take it.'"

Radtke's Vikings indeed had an excellent season in his first year back as head coach, finishing with a 16-7 overall record and an 11-6 record in the rugged Woodland West Division, good enough for fourth place.

The Vikings started the year 7-0 and went 4-2 in the next six games for an 11-2 start. But they finished 5-5 in the final 10 games going through a tough part of their schedule.

The Vikings will lose only three seniors: Anne Radtke (5.6 points per game), Kia Richards (4.2) and Cheyenne Pasdera (2.7).

"Those three seniors put us in a better state," coach Radtke said. "The seniors helped us with their leaderships. Cheyenne taught them how to be good teammates, Anne intensity on the court and Kia showed them what Viking pride was."

So it was no surprise at the team banquet Sunday night that all three were honored with the top team awards.

The Leadership Award went to Richards, the Teammate Award went to Pasdera and the Extra Lap Award went to Anne Radtke, who played with a busted finger and a bruised chin during the season.

The all-conference awards were also announced and sophomore Claire Radtke and junior Rachel Novotny were second-team choices, while sophomore Sarah Meleski and Anne Radtke were honorable mention, and Pasdera earned a Scholar-Athlete honor.

"Overall we had a successful season," coach Radtke said. "My biggest highlight was deciding to keep 15 kids and keep together and cohesive as team.

"I had some coaches say I'm nuts for doing it. But I had nine kids who averaged one quarter of play per game."

Coach Radtke also recalled some other season highlights.

"We went 5-0 in non-conference games, 4-0 against the Classic 8 Conference," he said. "Although we lost six games to the three teams above us, it showed the kids could compete with them, and next year we can have an opportunity to beat them."

Speaking of next year, coach Radtke will have nine juniors and three sophomores returning.

Novotny (8.4 ppg), Ali Boldt (6.1), Amber Nelson (5.0), Jenna Nelson (4.3), Alex Weis (3.2), Nicole Holstein (2.6), Karissa Harenda (2.3), Callie Wessel (2.2) and Maddie Egan (1.9) are all juniors and will return.

Claire Radtke (8.2 ppg), Meleski (6.7) and Lizzie Liska (4.5) are sophomores who will be back.

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