The Montezuma Bravettes played at state for a third consecutive year while finishing the 2019-20 campaign on the hardwood with a 23-2 record, including a 15-1 record in conference play while earning co-champion SICL honors.
“We had a tremendous season that created so many awesome memories,” said Bravettes Head Coach Janel Burgess. “Our defense was tremendous all season, our offense was cohesive with many different players contributing.”
At state, the Bravettes played a tough Saint Ansgar team, falling 46-51 in quarterfinal play at Wells Fargo Arena on Wednesday, March 4.
Shateah Wetering finished the game with 22-points, nine rebounds, five steals and two blocked shots to lead all scorers. Elise Boulton finished with 9-points, five rebounds and two steals, while Shelby Conger chipped in nine points and three rebounds. Other scorers included Shanae Wetering with 4-points, one rebound and one steal and Dylan Holland with 2-points, three rebounds and a steal.
“It was clearly an amazing season and we accomplished so much and I couldn’t be prouder,” said Junior Elise Boulton after the game.
Elise, who shared court duties with her sister, Mia, said the loss and ending of the season was the toughest to swallow because she knew the team had more in store.
“I know if we could have pushed a little harder, had less turnovers and played our game that we could have won,” she said. “But, we didn’t. However, we still earned the opportunity to be state qualifiers and conference champions again.”
“Going into the season, we knew what our end goal was,” added Senior Madelyn DeJong. “We knew what it was like to be at the state tournament, and we wanted more of it.”
DeJong said this was a really special year as the team found their place and the community support from the very first game to the very last was outstanding.
“Coming into the gym to warm up with the stands already filled was terrific and appreciated by every girl,” noted DeJong. “Throughout the season, we had our ups and downs, but we didn’t let it get to us. Everyone stepped up in different ways and gave it their all. Unfortunately, we came up short. We knew all good things come to an end; sadly, it happened sooner rather than later for us. My fellow seniors and I are so thankful for the last four years and want to say thank you to the coaches, teammates, and community that helped create memories that will last a lifetime.”
The season included wins over four non-conference 2A schools, Pella Christian, 63-40, Earlham, 53-28, PCM, 54-45, and Grundy Center, 73-55. The Bravettes also played East Buchanan in 1A non-conference action, winning 53-38.
The Bravettes rolled into the playoffs with one conference loss and following a first round bye, the team took care of business, topping Baxter, 68-44. Next on the agenda was Collins-Maxwell where the Bravettes wrapped up a 68-49 win. Then it was off to Iowa City West High School on Wednesday, Feb. 26 where Bravettes fans followed suit, filling the gym to overflow capacity to watch the team win the Class 1A, Region 5 Championship game against Springville, 77-57, to advance to state.
While at state, the current Bravettes met with the Bravettes 1970 State Championship Team, who was honored at the tournament on Saturday evening, March 7.
The season capped off the prep careers of six seniors wearing Bravettes uniforms - Shateah Wetering, Maddy McKeag, Carissa VanZee, Shelby Conger, Madelyn DeJong and Waverly Roorda.
“The seniors did so much for us all season and they really stepped up in their roles at the end to get us to the state tournament,” said Elise. “Playing at state is always a breathtaking experience: the crowd, the lights, the floor... It’s all just a blur but it’s truly a special experience. This year was a special group led by a great group of seniors, and I am so lucky to have been a part of this team, yet still have another year left as a Bravette with my sister, Mia.”
“This was another year to look back and be thankful; we have amazing fans, we have amazing parents and our team as a unit improved, worked hard and grew,” noted Coach Burgess. “We are sad it is done but we look back knowing we had another great year led by six great seniors.”
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