In order to be an elite-level scorer, a player must possess at least one skill that separates them from the pack.
For Theresa Wichser, that skill is her ability to light it up from 3-point range. On pace to lead the state in made triples for the second consecutive season, the Brookfield Academy junior topped 1,000 career points Jan. 24 in a game against HOPE Christian. She was the 42nd active player and was the sixth member of the class of 2018 in the WIAA to reach 1,000 points.
"That has always been on of my goals in my high school career," Wichser said. "To do it in my junior year is really awesome. I was super excited because it is a big milestone."
Wichser began her prep career at Waukesha South, where she averaged 10.3 points as a freshman. She set a school record for made 3-pointers with 62, which were tied for the fifth-most in the state that season.
Following her freshman campaign, Wichser transferred to Brookfield Academy, where her older brother, Danny, is an assistant coach. She avoided the WIAA transfer rule and was immediately eligible to play because she left Waukesha South before completing three semesters.
It has been a perfect fit at Brookfield Academy for Wichser, as she has scored 19.5 points per game as a sophomore and currently is the Blue Knights leading scorer at 18.4 points per contest entering Brookfield Academy's Feb. 14 season finale against Heritage Christian.
Wichser set a state-record in 3-point makes with 107 and led the state in attempts with 253 as a sophomore and is on pace to do the same this season with 106 triples on 263 tries.
"During my freshman yeah, I was in one of the hardest conferences in the Classic 8," Wichser said. "That really paid off for me, playing against some of the best girls. I knew what I needed to work on. Going into BA, I picked up all those things from those other girls and used. All the girls were super welcoming. It was a really nice transition."
Blue Knight coach Ron Kluth admits not every coach would allow a player to shoot at that kind of volume, as the next closest player in the state in 3-point attempts has shot 50 fewer 3-pointers than Wichser. But when she's making 3s at a 41.3 percent clip as she has the past two seasons, there is no reason for Kluth to rein her in.
Wichser, a 5-foot-4 guard, is a career 38.8 percent (275-for-709) 3-point shooter.
"But every time she shoots, I think it is going in," Kluth said. That's a huge plus. I have girls that don't shoot 30 percent on 2s. I get an extra point. She shoots as at a high percentage.
"It is great as a coach when you have something like that. Teams have to defend that 3-point shooting. Our point guard Anika Washburn is a penetrator, so I feel like I have the best two guards in the conference. Having a guard that drives and one that shoots 3s, that creates a lot of problems."
Now in her second year in the Midwest Classic Conference, Wichser has noticed teams attempting to defend her differently. She's often faceguarded, which has forced her to adapt and adjust to find different ways to find an opening to shoot.
"I worked a lot on getting myself open more because I am faceguarded most games," Wichser said. "I had to practice changing speeds and going off screens."
Kluth has also encouraged Wichser to put the ball on the floor and drive past defenders since teams are playing her only to shoot since she's attempted just 45 2-pointers this season.
"We've been setting up staggered screens or double screens or anything that can get her an open shot," Kluth said. "With that, we've been trying to tell her to drive more. If someone is faceguarding her and she only shoot's 3s, well that person is just going to stay up on her. Now she has to start driving, and she has been. That's a credit to her."
Having already clinched a share of its second straight conference title, Brookfield Academy entered its regular-season finale against Heritage Christian on Feb. 14 at 14-7 overall and 10-1 in the Midwest Classic Conference.
"We're working really well together," Wichser said. "We are so close to having another conference championship. We really want it. Our seniors really want it, so it makes me want to step up big and help them get another conference championship."