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Jasper County Tribune

Three Baxter girls earn all-conference honors

Senior Caitlyn Bruntz came into her final season trying to change the course of Baxter’s girls’ basketball program.

And after setting several school records, Bruntz helped lead the Bolts to an above .500 record for the first time in the program’s three-year history. She led the team in scoring, assists and steals and that helped her earn first-team honors in the Iowa Star Conference’s South Division.

Two other Bolts were named to the all-conference team recently.

Junior McKenzie Eslinger landed on the second team, while senior Holly Jessen earned honorable mention recognition.

Baxter finished in fourth place of the ISC South Division at 7-5. The Bolts were one game behind Meskwaki Settlement School.

Colo-NESCO won the conference title at 11-1 and Collins-Maxwell was 10-2.

Bruntz led the Bolts in conference scoring at 13.5 points per game. She also made 27 3-pointers, connected on 27.6 percent from 3-point range and buried 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.

Bruntz averaged 4.5 steals, 3.1 assists and 1.4 rebounds per game in conference play. She was second in the league in steals and fifth in assists.

Overall, Bruntz averaged 11.9 points, 1.6 rebounds, 3.49 assists and 4.43 steals per game.

Her 102 total steals led the South Division and set a single-season school record. The 80 assists set a new single-season school record and ranked second in the conference.

Bruntz set a school-record with 44 made 3-pointers, shot 35.8 percent from the floor and connected on 68.4 percent of her free throws.

Bruntz set a new single-season scoring record with 273 points and her 27 points against Meskwaki Settlement on Jan. 27 was a new single-game school record.

Eslinger ranked second on the team with a 10.7 points per game average and led the team with 8.7 rebounds per contest in conference play. She shot 46.5 percent from the floor, 40.5 percent from the foul line and tallied 14 assists and 32 steals.

In conference play, Eslinger was second on the team in scoring at 10.3 points per game and led the Bolts in rebounding at 8.8 boards per game. She connected on 46.8 percent of her shots and made 44 percent from the line.

Eslinger collected nine assists and 17 steals overall.

Eslinger’s 10.3 points per game in conference play ranked eighth in the league and she was second in rebounding.

Eslinger set a new single-season school record with 201 rebounds. Her 247 points ranks second in program history behind Bruntz’s 273.

Jessen averaged five points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.17 assists and 2.33 steals per game in conference play.

Her 38 assists led the team and ranked fourth in the South Division and her 28 steals was second for Baxter.

Jessen made 39 percent from the floor and 43 percent from the line and hit eight 3-pointers.

Overall, Jessen averaged 4.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.17 steals per game. She connected on 36.6 percent from the floor, hit 37 percent from the line and made 15 3-pointers.

Jessen’s 59 assists ranked sixth in the league and her 50 steals ranked eighth.

Iowa Star Conference

South Division Standings

Team Conference Overall

Colo-NESCO 11-1 18-6

Collins-Maxwell 10-2 19-5

Meskwaki Settlement 8-4 14-8

Baxter 7-5 13-10

GMG 3-9 4-18

North Tama 3-9 4-17

Valley Lutheran 0-12 0-16

Coach of the Year

Justin Flaws, Collins-Maxwell

South Division MVP

Lauryn Hill, Colo-NESCO

First Team

* Caitlyn Bruntz, senior, Baxter

* Lauryn Hill, senior, Colo-NESCO

* Rylee Purvis, senior, Colo-NESCO

* Reagan Franzen, junior, Collins-Maxwell

* Alexis Houge, sophomore, Collins-Maxwell

* Payton Tahawah, senior, Meskwaki

* denotes unanimous selection

Second Team

McKenzie Eslinger, junior, Baxter

Emma Stalzer, senior, Colo-NESCO

Deandra Navarro, junior, Meskwaki

Kenzie Wierson, sophomore, Collins-Maxwell

Belle Duncan, senior, GMG

Rylee McLean, junior, North Tama

Honorable Mention

Holly Jessen, senior, Baxter

Emma Kahler, senior, Collins-Maxwell

Ayvarie Bappe, junior, Colo-NESCO

Emily Vaughn, junior, GMG

Geanna Bear, sophomore, Meskwaki

Abi DeBoef, junior, North Tama

Lauren Dawson, senior, Valley Lutheran

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