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Buccaneers Selected to WCC All-Conference Team

After the 2016-17 Wisconsin Collegiate Conference All-Conference honor came out, the state champion UW-Marinette Lady Bucs earned five awards.  Sarah Pettit and Tori Wangerin earned first team honors while Christina Jagiello and Amanda Simmons were named to the honorable mention team.  Head Coach Jeff Sunstrom earned his fourth Coach of the Year award in his nine seasons at the helm, including his third straight.

Pettit, a sophomore, averaged 14.7 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game.  Coach Sunstrom says, her versatility and hard work is what earned her the honors, "Sarah was our swiss army knife.  She really grasped our system and had the ability to play inside-out.  She could post up or step outside and shoot the three. She was such a great defensive player, extremely athletic, fundamentally sound and had an outstanding attitude. Her versatility and all-around game made her very valuable to us."

Wangerin, in her first season with the Lady Bucs, led the team in scoring with 16.1 per game average and rebounds with 11.0.  Averaging a double-double as a freshman is no small feat, but her overall athleticism helped her tremendously, "She made a big transition from high school to college, even though she was an all-state selection. She had to learn to play on the perimeter and really progressed with that throughout the season. Tori was huge in our drive to the state championship." Sunstrom added, "I knew when she came to continue her education here, I was getting a good ball player but I was really, really surprised with her athleticism.  She's one of our fastest players, I knew she was a good athlete, but wow is she a great athlete."  Wangerin finished second in Player of the Year voting.

It's not often the WCC sees a 6'0" tall point guard, let alone two, and on the same team.  That's exactly what Coach Sunstrom had in the twin towers of Christina Jagiello and Amanda Simmons.  With early concerns at the point guard position, Coach Sunstrom looked to his sophomores to step up, "I was really worried about our point guard situation. I looked at Christina, Amanda and Sarah and told them they had to step up.  Christina said "We got this'.  From there, if Christina drew the opposing team's biggest player, she brought it up, otherwise Amanda was our starting point guard and did an incredible job as she led our team in assists with 5.1 per game."

"Christina is a supremely good athlete with great footwork.  A tremendous shot blocker, good post moves, and she developed a three-point shot for us, she was a matchup nightmare." Sunstrom added, "She helped put our teams in a lot of good situations throughout the season."

In her new role, Simmons took the in-game pressure and used it as fuel to the fire, Sunstrom says.  "I recruited her as a scoring two-guard.  This year, she took over as our starting point guard, even at 6'0" tall, and really did a beautiful job.  She worked very hard at it and I've never had a player that can see the floor like she can.  She turned in an amazing season and career."

Sunstrom himself secured his third straight Coach of the Year award, but quickly deferred to his assistant Josh St. Juliana for the reason as to why he won.  "I want to thank Josh St. Juliana.  He was fantastic coming in, helping with scouting and recruiting and was an excellent bench coach.  His input was invaluable and we couldn't have won a state championship without him.  I think he has a very good future in coaching, wherever it is.  Josh definitely helped me through the season, he deserves a lot of credit."

For the men, Maxwell Muelver, an Elcho High School graduate, earned second team all-conference in his freshman season.  The freshman center averaged 15.5 points along with 6.6 rebounds per game.  Head Coach Bryan Wickstrom says, "Max is a very coachable player and willing to work on his game to develop and contribute.  He has incredible potential and I feel he can definitely make a run at first team all-state next season.  He might have been there this season if it weren't for a few nagging injuries.  With his attitude and effort, Max will be one of the leaders of this team next season."


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