North Bend Central's Kaitlyn Emanuel works toward to the hoop against York on Tuesday at York High School. Photo credit: Steve Marik/nebpreps

Standouts: York Girls Basketball Team Camp


York, Nebraska, was the place to be for girls basketball in the state on Tuesday.

Twenty-six varsity teams from around the state competed at the York Girls Team Camp. A total of seven courts in town were used, including York High School and its auxiliary gym, York Middle School, York College’s Freeman Center and Campbell Center, the York City Auditorium and York Elementary.

The 26 teams involved ranged from Classes B through D-2. Those that competed on Tuesday included head coach Matt Kern’s Dukes, as well as Ainsworth, Auburn, Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur, Bennington, Blair, Boone Central, Centennial, Central Valley, Exeter-Milligan, Friend, Gothenburg, Hastings, Lawrence-Nelson, Lincoln Christian, Lincoln Lutheran, Milford, North Bend Central, Ord, Osceola, Pleasanton, Seward, Shelby-Rising City, Sutton, Syracuse and Waverly.

That’s a packed camp, and a talented one, too. North Bend Central won the Class C-1 state championship in March behind the stellar play of the Emanuel sisters, Kaitlyn and Sydney. More on those two later.

Eight other teams that played in the state tournament were competing in York, including the host Dukes and Bennington in Class B, Lincoln Lutheran and Syracuse in C-1, Centennial and BRLD in C-2, Pleasanton in D-1 and Exeter-Milligan in D-2.

Individually, there was plenty of talent to watch as well. Here are some players that stood out during the camp:

2023 North Bend Central forward Kaitlyn Emanuel

The girl has it all and was one of the most impressive players in York on Tuesday. She’s got length at 5-foot-11, which allows her to be a problem for opposing teams on the boards and in man-to-man defense. On more than one occasion, Emanuel poked the ball away from the ball handler, forcing the offense to restart its possession in the halfcourt. She also has a strong handle for a player her size. More than once she grabbed a rebound and dribbled the length of the court for a layup or pass to a sprinting teammate. As a sophomore for the state champ Tigers, Emanuel averaged a team-high 16.7 points 7.9 rebounds and 3.9 steals per game.

2022 North Bend Central guard Sydney Emanuel

Sydney isn’t as tall as her sister is, but that doesn’t matter — she has her own game. Sydney showed an ability to get to the rim and finish through contact on Tuesday. Her strength was easy to spot defensively, too, as she rarely let ball handlers get past her.

Here are a couple examples of what Sydney did on Tuesday. North Bend Central has a great 1-2 punch with the Emanuels:

2022 Syracuse forward Lily Vollertsen

The Lady Rockets have a really good player in Vollertsen, a 6-1 forward with solid footwork in the paint. When Vollertsen got the entry pass in the post, she usually got her shot to fall, whether it was with the right or left hand. Vollertsen, who averaged around 19 points and seven rebounds per game last season, also showed she can put the ball on deck if she is forced out to the 3-point line to get the ball. Syracuse made state last March, and Vollertsen was a big reason why. Here’s a brief look at her Tuesday in the paint:

2022 York guard Destiny Shepherd

Shepherd was the quickest guard in York on Tuesday. She was always pushing the pace, whether that meant keeping her eyes up the court and dishing off a pass or dribbling through a slow-rotating full-court pressure. Shepherd isn’t afraid of contact, and showed a good sense of when to use the kick-out passes once she drew the defense in with her drives. Shepherd, who averaged nine points and as a junior, also knocked down the 3-pointer on Tuesday, a shot she made 31 percent (28 of 90) of the time last season. Here are a couple of her makes:

2022 York guard Mattie Pohl

If Shepherd was the quickest guard in York on Tuesday, her teammate Mattie Pohl wasn’t far behind. Pohl, who along with Shepherd was a key member of last season’s state-tournament-qualifying team, showed good burst and tenacity on the defensive end, which was good to see after a knee injury late in the season slowed her. Offensively, she’s able to get to the rim and, like Shepherd, isn’t afraid to get bumped along the way. Pohl averaged seven points and five rebounds last year, but is capable of getting hot — she had a 21- and 20-point game in Duke wins. On Tuesday, she was able to connect on a trey:

2022 Lincoln Lutheran forward Katelynn Oxley

Lincoln Lutheran took third place in the C-1 state tournament in March and ended its season with a 21-3 record. Its 6-3 junior forward, Oxley, was a major part to the team and will be again as a senior. On Tuesday, Oxley, who averaged nine points, five rebounds and racked up 27 blocks last season, showed that she was one of the top front-court players in C-1. She had nice touch around the rim and used her size well, finishing through contact. Here’s just one of her makes on Tuesday:

2022 Blair guard Makayla Baughman

Baughman had everything clicking for an impressive Blair team. At 5-9, she has solid size and a great handle. She used that handle to get to her spots for jumpers and showed off slick footwork on those shots. Take a look at this step-back 3 from Baughman late in a game when her team needed a bucket:

Baughman also dished out some pretty passes. Here’s one example:

2025 Blair guard Molly Ladwig

She’s just a freshman? For a player who’s going to be entering her first high school season, Ladwig was super impressive. She can handle the ball and really gave great effort defensively, not letting older and more experienced players get past her. Ladwig more than held her own on Tuesday, and that bodes well for Bears’ head coach Matt Aschoff, who’s been close to getting the Blair girls basketball program to the state tournament for the first time since 1998. Here are a few of Ladwig’s plays from the camp:

2022 Hastings forward Maddie Hilgendorf

It was fun to watch Hilgendorf play because whatever she did, she smiled and looked like she was having fun out there. Hilgendorf showed off her range with some 3-point makes and had a great day finding her teammates with stellar passes. At 5-11, she’ll be able to see over most of the girls defending her. Hilgendorf averaged seven points, five rebounds and shot 36 percent (14 of 39) from behind the arc last season for the Tigers. Here are some of the plays she made on Tuesday:

Miss the recap and standouts from Centennials’ girls team camp in Utica last week? Check it out right here.





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