OWEN – As a freshman Stephany Heggemeier came off the bench for the Owen-Withee girls basketball team.
She’s been a staple on the Blackhawks’ varsity squad ever since and was a second team all-Cloverbelt Conference East Division selection as a sophomore and first-team pick as a junior.
Last year Heggemeier broke the 1,000 point barrier and currently sits at 1,195 points for her career. She is chasing down Sarah Meckley’s all-time school scoring record (1,414) and also hopes to lead her team back to the state tournament.
“Stephany is not only a team leader, but our best ball player,” O-W coach Al Guthman said. “She’s been struggling with an illness during the first part of the season, but she’s getting her strength back and getting back to playing her game.
“She was a preseason all-state first team selection, so that kind of tells you what she’s capable of and what other coaches think of her abilities.”
Despite not playing at full strength, Heggemeier is averaging 10.2 points per game, which puts her in the top-five of the Cloverwood East in scoring.
Your team has a chance to pull even in the Cloverbelt standings with a win over undefeated Loyal (tonight). What will it take to knock them off? We have to be prepared to be more physical and rebound better. We have to come together and play as a team, not a bunch of individuals.
What will you always remember about the tournament experience last March? The amazing community support for our team. It was unbelievable. We were a smaller team and no one expected us to go very far, so it was rewarding to make it. Being part of that atmosphere and to be able to play in such an amazing facility and watch the other amazing teams that competed, is something I’ll always remember.
How hungry is the team to get back down to state this year and what offseason work did the team put in together? We’re very hungry. We have a lot of talented underclassmen who had that experience and they want to get back. We played a lot together this summer. We competed in the Medford league and went to open gym and the weight room a few times a week.
Was reaching 1,000 points a big deal for you or are you more excited about the chance of breaking the school’s all-time scoring record? It was very exciting to get past 1,000 points, because I didn’t expect it to happen my junior year. I’m still gunning for the all-time record though.
You’re in several non-sports activities at school, what is your favorite? Being in the play and drama club. It’s fun because I get to be with a lot kids who might not be out for sports. And I like that I can pretend to be someone else for a while when I’m on stage.
What do you like about competing in sports at a small school? Everyone knows everyone, which can be good and bad. I feel like everyone has each others’ backs at school and in the community. When I’m working at the cafe or the gas station, it’s nice to hear compliments about our games because people know who we are.
Finish this sentence: People would be surprised that I__? I’m very much into music. I play the guitar and piano and love singing. Our family sings a lot, and I sing with them and in our church choir sometimes. I’m going to pursue a career in musical therapy.
Since you kind of brought it up, what are your plans for next year? I’m hoping to go to UW-La Crosse. It’a s good school and my sister, Emily goes there. I’m not sure about sports, but I’ll probably be studying psychology to do what I want to do with my career.
Mark Massoglia can be reached at 715-423-7200, ext. 6736. Follow him on Twitter @markmazzy.
Sports: Volleyball, basketball, softball
Family: Dad, Paul; mom, Kay; brothers, P.J., Benjamin; sisters, Heather, Tiffany, Emily
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite food: Cocoa Puffs
Favorite TV show: “Supernatural”
Favorite movie: “Love and Basketball”
Favorite vacation: Camp Luther, Three Lakes, Wis.
Favorite spot to hang out in Owen: There really isn’t anywhere, so we go to the movie theater in Medford