By Chris Parker
Aurora girls basketball is looking to build off the momentum from of last season’s 14-11 campaign. It was the first winning season for the Lady Houns since 2015-16.
Senior guard Brooke Schutte will be the team leader this year.
“Brooke leads by example every day the team trust her approach and love competing with her,” Aurora head coach DJ Gutscher said.
She will get help from returning all-conference selection Ellie Creasey. Creasey, who was honorable mention all-conference last year, averaged 12.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.2 assists per game last year.
“Ellie has had two solid years in high school and has worked extremely hard this off-season to improve her all-around game,” Gutscher said. “She has evolved in so many aspects of the game and will make others around her better this season.”
After those two, Aurora will look to a host of newcomers to fill minutes.
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Junior transfer Payden Blevins will step right into the role of point guard. She scored 13.7 points per game last year while pulling down 6.3 rebounds and handing out 2.5 assists per game.
Freshman Makena Hall has the ability to defend at a high level. Sophomore Jacey Lee is an athletic forward who rebounds well and can attack the basket. Junior Lexi Burch is a player who does all the little things right. Maci Montgomery is a junior who is scrappy and plays bigger than she is. MJ Kloss is another junior who is a high-energy player.
Auri Philips (junior), Ashyln Teague (sophomore), Alyssa Burch (freshman) and Jaelyn Ernest (freshman) all will also compete for playing time this year.
“Our greatest strength this year is team chemistry and desire. They love playing for each other and it’s contagious. They want to be successful and are willing to do whatever it takes,” Gutscher said. “To be successful this season, we need to be more opportunistic. We need to create extra possessions. We need to score off turnovers and offensive rebounds. Then limit our opponents by taking care of the ball, blocking out and taking quality shots.”
Aurora will host a jamboree on Nov. 15 with Ash Grove, Southwest and Wheaton. The Lady Houns will travel to Hartville on Nov. 23 to open the regular season.
“Our program has established its culture and our players not only understand what the expectations are but now set the standard,” Gutscher said. “We expect to be competitive every night and to continue to build on the success we found last season.”