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Ed-Co’s Bailee Helle shoots a jump shot.

Playing the best basketball of the season at tournament time is the goal of every team, and the Edgewood-Colesburg girls’ basketball team did just that in a Class 1A, Region 3 loss to Central Elkader to finish the year 5-17.

“As the season progressed, we improved every day, which is all you can ask as a coach,” said Ed-Co coach Jenny Lange. “We may not have had the best record, but that we were better than we were yesterday is something we could say every day. We play in a tough conference, with many ranked teams, and several of our non-conference games were against ranked teams as well.”

The Vikings will look to replace four senior starters that left a positive mark on the program.

“Bailee Helle was a big shooter for our team and a top three-point shooter,” said Lange. “Lily Aulwes was extremely fast and weakened the offense of opposing teams. She also stepped up big as an offensive player as the season progressed.”

Helle averaged 7.6 points per game along with 3.4 rebounds, while Aulwes chipped in 3.9 points and 3.4 rebounds.

Senior Natalie Wessel averaged 3.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, and broke school records for most blocked shots in a game (13) and season (43).

“Natalie was a big shot blocker,” said Lange. “We ran our offense through her quite often, as she is really smart and just makes the right decision.”

Rose Heuchelin was a steady presence and averaged 5.2 points per contest.

“Rose was our spark,” said Lange. “She could get a bucket when we needed one, she rebounded, played the point and could drive and shoot the ball.”

Sophomores Annie Hoffman and Ella Aulwes had solid seasons, and will be called upon to anchor the Vikings down the road.

Hoffman was second in Tri-Rivers Conference rebounding at 9.2 per game and averaged 6.5 points per contest. Ella Aulwes led the team with 167 points (7.6 per game) and led the Vikings with 56 assists.

Juniors Ashley Hogan (2.2 ppg), Alex Schmitz (1.2 ppg), Emma Pape and Olivia Welsh will return along with sophomore Mikayla Thein, freshmen Addy Kirby and Reagan Stelken.

“If the girls work hard in the offseason, they will see more success next year,” said Lange, who resigned from the head job following the season. “I also know we had some amazing youth coaches and teams this year. As those girls get into high school, we will see great things.”

“The incoming freshmen are athletic, aggressive and quick,” she added. “I see good things coming from them as well.”