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Sports

Girls Basketball: Daffenberg, Harrison give Foxes foundation to build on historic season

Yorkville's Lauren Daffenberg (21), a Hillsdale College recruit, returns for her third varsity season to lead the Foxes.
Yorkville's Lauren Daffenberg (21), a Hillsdale College recruit, returns for her third varsity season to lead the Foxes.

How do you build on history?

Yorkville is about to find out.

The Foxes last year finished with a glittering 26-3 record and went unbeaten in the Northern Illinois Big 12 East for the second straight season.

The crowning achievement was Yorkville's first regional championship in Class 4A.

"We're progressing slowly but surely," Foxes coach Kim Wensits said. "We graduated six seniors, and 61 percent of our minutes played."

The Foxes, though, have a solid foundation to build on.

Seniors Lauren Daffenberg and Lindsay Harrison, both third-year varsity players, will lead a Yorkville program that is low on numbers but high on talent.

The Foxes have nine girls on their varsity team, eight on the sophomore team.

"But everybody is extremely talented," Wensits said. "We are in a unique situation. I'm sure there will be opportunities for the younger kids."

Daffenberg, a 5-foot-11 guard committed to Division II Hillsdale College, averaged 13.5 points and 4.4 points per game last season. She is 291 points away from 1,000 for her career, 439 from the school record reset by Katie Nolan last year.

Harrison, a 6-foot forward, averaged 10.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.2 blocks per game. She already has offers from a number of Division III programs, and could be poised for a breakout season.

"There is so much potential in Lindsay," Wensits said. "Lauren is capable of scoring, and she will lead us. Teams know that. I'm sure we'll see defenses designed to stop her."

Yorkville's guards, besides Daffenberg, are young but have experience. Lily Guerra played in every varsity game as a freshman, and fellow sophomore guard Olivia Ross got in 18. Junior Claudia Grunwald played in 11 games as a sophomore.

"Lily has progressed tremendously," Wensits said. "She doesn't look like a sophomore. I'm excited to see what she can do. So many of the girls have put in a large amount of work."

Others expected to contribute include junior guards Calli Bishop, Haylee Reyes and Delaney Seeman and junior forward Courtney Hall.

Yorkville's biggest challenge is who rebounds. Nolan, the program's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, has left a big void in that department. Hall, Daffenberg and Harrison are Yorkville's only players 5-foot-10 or taller.

It will need to be a collective effort.

Wensits is eager to get a gauge on where her team is at. Yorkville starts action this week at the York Tournament.

"I think we're ready for a game," Wensits said. "We have a lot of girls who are going to get the opportunity to play and contribute. I think they'll be ready for it."

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