A trio of Milaca basketball players secured spots on the Granite Ridge All-Conference team, while several others received honorable mentions, celebrating the strong seasons by the Wolves.
Miranda Broberg and Maggie Westling both grabbed spots on the Granite Ridge All-Conference team while Logan Molacek led the boys squad representing the team as the lone member to make All-Conference. Jack Berg and Mason Voshell both received honorable mention honors while Emylee Kohlgraf, Jalen Taylor and Olivia Westling were honorable mentions for the girls’ team.
Molacek, who missed the start of the season with an injury, was happy to be able to return and play at the level he did. “It really means a lot knowing I worked hard, even with a cast on, it shows me that I didn’t give up and kept working through the adversity,” Molacek said. He suffered the injury during the football season.
Molacek, who will attend Concordia-Moorhead for basketball, was able to return to play in 19 games averaging 10.7 point per game, grabbing 4.2 rebounds, and swiping 2 steals per game. Voshell and Berg averaged 8.8 and 8.5 points respectively, to wrap up their senior careers.
Moving into next season, all three will depart the Milaca boys basketball team as head coach Bennett Lerud must fill the spots left by the three captains. “They will be very tough to replace on the court, but their off the court actions and leadership will be even more difficult to replace,” Lerud said. referring to the hole the players will leave behind.
Lerud believes that the team will recover from the loss, thanks to a large group of up and coming players. “We are fortunate, however, to have a large group of juniors behind them and I am confident many of them will grow into those leadership roles between now and next season.”
The boys team finished its season with a 11-16 record after 75-62 loss to Pine City in the opening round of the Section 6AA playoffs.
As for Broberg and Maggie Westling, the two were a solid one-two punch for Milaca’s offense, leading the team to a 15-win campaign and bringing home All-Conference honor with their averages of 16.7 and 11.8 points per game. Broberg nailed 79 three-pointers on the season and will head to the University of Wisconsin-Superior to continue her basketball career.
Westling, a force inside who was able to grab eight rebounds per game, will be entering in her freshman year next season.
Lance Dalbey, who finished his first season as head coach of the Milaca girls’ basketball team, was happy to have the two players who games paired so well together. “They gave us a solid one-two punch from both inside and outside and I think they were able to relieve the pressure from each other,” said Dalbey.
Kohlgraf, Taylor, and Olivia Westling had strong seasons as well, combining for nearly 20 points per game to help give the Wolves balanced scoring.
Entering next year, Milaca will have some big holes to fill as Kohlgraf, Taylor and Broberg will all be graduating. “Losing three, three-year starters will not be easy for us, but we have players that are ready and eager to try to fill their shoes. We may lack a bit of experience next season but I think we’ll be competitive and usually those are the teams that continue to grow and get better throughout a season from my experience,” said Dalbey. “We have a lot of work to do this off-season, but I like what we have coming back and what we’re bringing up next season.”