The Brookfield Central girls basketball team had five players earn All-Greater Metro Conference honors on some level following an outstanding season in coach Mallory Liebl's second year on the job.
Central finished with a 19-6 overall record (.760), winning seven in a row before losing in the postseason to Divine Savior Holy Angels (20-6). They won 10 of their final 12 games and finished second in the Greater Metro Conference with an 11-3 record (.786) behind DSHA (13-1, 20-6).
Two juniors earned first-team all-conference honors — Caroline Busch and Claire Haynes — while seniors Rachel Kolb and Zeporah Jackoyo earned high honorable mention and Megan Olson earned honorable mention.
All five seniors earned GMC scholar-athlete honors: Kolb, Jackoyo, Olson, Sabriah Abdul-Wahid and Kiley Brauer.
Liebl had plenty of praise for her seniors, especial Kolb.
'They were all a big part of our success,' she said. 'Two (Jackoyo, Abdul-Wahid) were injured (ACL tears) most of season, and they cheered us on from bench during the game, on the sidelines at practice, doing anything they could to help us.
'Kolb set the bar high when it came to senior leadership, what it looks like, showing the underclassmen how to accept whatever role they had.'
The Lancers don't give out team awards at their year-end banquet, but they give out plaques to the team captains, who were Busch, Haynes, Kolb, Jackoyo and Olson.
Lost to the best
A closer look shows half their losses came to DSHA (67-63, 49-48, 59-49, overtime), Liebl's former team. It didn't bother Liebl that the Dashers were her former team, but it did bother her because they were one of the Lancers' chief rivals.
'No matter what, they are our team rivals,' she said. 'I never thought of them as my former team in the moment. But it's tough to compete against girls that you coached. We played them well, but we just couldn't get over the hump.'
An even closer look shows their other three losses came to Oak Creek (23-4), Pius XI (24-2) and Sussex Hamilton (18-7). So the Lancers' six losses came to teams with a combined 85-19 record, a .817 winning mark.
'We had a fantastic season,' Liebl said. 'I was pleased with the way we way played. We improved throughout the season, and I judge our season by how we improve from start to finish. We made huge strides. We were a little short on our goals, not winning our conference or getting to state.
'This year, the GMC was the most competitive it has been in 10-15 years. I was quite impressed. I was proud of our effort and dedication to see us finish by ourself in second place.'
Liebl will lose five seniors to graduation, but the good news is she will have eight returnees: juniors Caroline Busch, Haynes, Amanda Miller, Ellery Nordling, Leah Swenson, Elizabeth Busch and Cassie Fosdick and freshman Maddy Brauer.
'We have a lot coming back, and we'll miss the seniors,' Liebl said. 'We will have some shoes to fill, not just in talent, but we need to put in the work to achieve our goals.'