Triplains-Brewster enjoying strong season
By CONOR NICHOLL
WINONA -- The Triplains-Brewster High School girls' basketball team has enjoyed consistent production from all-league players Brittany Plummer and Shayna Rogge for the last two and a half years. As a freshman, Plummer, now the senior point guard, played on a two-win team. In 2011-12, Rogge entered high school and Triplains-Brewster bumped to six victories.
Last season, Kent Gfeller took over as coach, focused heavily on fundamentals, and Triplains-Brewster went 14-8.
This winter, Triplains-Brewster again has big seasons going for Plummer and Rogge. Gfeller continues to preach fundamentals. Now, the supporting cast has taken big strides.
"Our coach is pretty great with us," Rogge said. "He is encouraging, and we just work on a lot of basic stuff, which I think is the most important. It's basically him, and we have come together more as a family than anything."
Triplains-Brewster stands at 7-1 and is ranked No. 5 in Class 1A Division II. Triplains-Brewster, a co-operative in the fall and winter, has never made state in boys' or girls' basketball. Brewster's lone girls' appearance came in 2005. Triplains has never made the state basketball tournament. The 2013-14 could produce the best basketball season in either team's school history.
"A really big surprise to me," Plummer said. "We kind of wanted to play basketball and play our best and once we were 6-0, we thought, 'Hey, we can go to state.' That's our drive right now is just to make it to state."
Rogge averages 15.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and three steals, all team-highs. Plummer is at 11.3 points, a team-best 4.3 assists and 2.8 steals. The longtime best friends could each reach 1,000 points in their careers.
"We always know where each other is on the court," Plummer said. "I know what she is going to do, and she knows what I am going to do. Off the court, too, we are best friends."
Rogge stands at 721 points and has shot 47 percent from the field, five percent better than any previous season. For her career, Rogge has averaged 14.7 points and 9.8 rebounds.
"She does fine," Gfeller, a Rule 10 coach who is a businessman and farmer in town, said. "We need to really get her the ball more. She is just so incredibly athletic, and she has really refined her basketball skills where she is becoming a basketball player. Last year, she was just pure athletic ability, but she is a lot better shot this year. She can hit the 15-footer, and no one can guard her going to the hole, she is just so quick."
Plummer, who is being recruited by Oklahoma Panhandle State University and Fort Hays State University among others, wants to possibly do rodeo in college, too. She has 805 career points with a strong 1.42 assist to turnover ratio this season. The 5-foot-3 left-handed shooting Plummer has a solid shot fake she developed this summer, including basketball camps.
"I went to the Garden City Buster camp, and the whole time we worked with the guards on shot faking and driving," Plummer said. "I practice it in practice just to get better at it everyday. I want to do rodeo, too, but I like basketball more."
Senior C.J. Lewellan and junior Alicia Barrie have enjoyed big improvements. Junior Dara Roulier has stepped up.
"The Lewallen girl, last year at the beginning of the season, she was an automatic turnover," Gfeller said. "We hammer the fundamentals everyday and she is a hustler. Now, I can trust her on the court and she makes a big difference. The Barrie girl has come a long way. It's not that the better girls have gotten that much better. The other girls are filling the gap and are more consistent now."
Sophomore center Kelly Lamb provides plenty of length. Barrie, Roulier and Lewellan average between four and 5.1 points per contest.
All four have between 3.5 and 6.5 rebounds. Roulier and Rogge are tied for the team lead with 52 rebounds.
"Last year, (C.J.) wasn't even starting 'B' team," Plummer said. "This year, her hustle and hard work has really paid off and she is starting 'A' team this year. She can make her shots."