Newell girls’ basketball set high-water mark in 2022-23 By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer Mar 15, 2023 Mar 15, 2023 0 Facebook Twitter WhatsApp SMS Email Newell High School’s Jaelyn Wendt, right, positions herself for a rebound during a girls’ high school basketball game earlier this season, in Newell.Pioneer file photoClick to purchase this photo Facebook Twitter WhatsApp SMS Email Print Copy article link Save NEWELL — Newell finished 10-11 during a varsity girls’ basketball campaign that ended with a 52-37 setback to Lemmon in the Region 8B tournament.Irrigators’ head coach Scott Wince said players and coaches battled with consistency in trying to make things work every day. However, he did see a really bright spot.“We were 10-10 for the regular season,” Wince said. “That’s the best we’ve been in several years.” A berth in the Class B SoDak 16 event was a goal Newell was unable to meet. Wince said other goals like a .500 season were realized.Wince said the young squad sustained some injuries, including a stretch where Jaelyn Wendt missed six games. He added six other contests were postponed but eventually replayed.“We had a lot of games and not a lot of practices,” Wince said in describing a three-week February stretch that featured 11 contests.Some of those were rescheduled from earlier dates. The Lady Irrigators won four of their first six games this season. A 43-37 victory over Upton, Wyo., put Newell’s record at 4-2.Newell edged Edgemont 50-45 and improved to 5-3, but the Irrigators endured a five-game skid.Victories over Edgemont (50-45), Lead-Deadwood (49-22), and Oelrichs (52-21) enabled the Lady Irrigators to square their record at 8-8.Newell split its final four-regular season games. The Irrigators defeated Tiospaye Topa 69-47 and New Underwood 28-26 for that 10-10 mark.“We were playing better defense as the year went on,” Wince said. “We have some good speed, and we have Jaelyn Wendt as a 6-1 person on the back side to help all the time.”He cited that as the biggest on-court highlight of this season, along with growth and maturity from younger team members.Eighth-grader Macey Wendt received extended playing time when Newell went to a four-guard set. Wince said Wendt gained experience from playing under pressure with the ball.Wince said players need to spend more off-season time in the gym and become better shooters.Jaelyn Wendt’s injury time resulted in others having to learn how to play without her, according to Wince.He said that helped other guards improve, and other post players had to do things they were not used to doing.“You gotta grow from your struggles,” Wince said. “Hopefully, we’ve put that into place for the next season.”Taylor Gaer and Stacy Mahaffy represented the senior class for the Lady Irrigators.Gaer was second on the team in scoring and rebounding this season and led in 3-point shooting percentage.Wince said Gaer and Mahaffy provided a lot of leadership for the Lady Irrigators.“We’re young; the possibilities are good,” Wince said in looking toward the future. “It kind of depends on the kids, if we want to spend the summer in the gym shooting and going to camps.”To read all of today's stories,Click hereor call 642-2761 to subscribe to our e-edition or home delivery. 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