By: John Raffel
Samantha Krauss Leading a Solid Hemlock Attack
By John Raffel
Scott Neumeyer is coaching a Hemlock girls basketball team that has earned an impressive 12-5 record after its first 17 games.
“We play in a really tough division, and we're the only Class C school in a Class B division,” he said. “But we like it that way. We see some of the best players in the state in our conference and I think that helps us. The last few years, I think just about everyone of our first-team (all-conference) basketball players has gone on to play college basketball. That's good for us as a program and it helps us get better.”
The Huskies have been battling through injuries throughout the season.
“We're pretty young and I'm excited about what's happened so far this season and what we've got coming down the road,” Neumeyer said. “In our division, we're in the central with teams like Bullock Creek, Shepherd, Ovid-Elsie and Freeland. We've had some pretty talented players and teams in our conference the last five years. There's no shortage of quality teams in our league.”
One of the players leading the team’s success is Samantha Krauss, who is having a standout junior season for Hemlock. It's her third year on the varsity.
“She played five to 10 minutes (per game) as a freshman and played significant minutes as a sophomore,” Neumeyer said. “Last year was her first year as a starter at point guard. This year, she's really blossomed. She put a lot of work in during the summer and it really shows.”
Krauss is averaging18 points, five rebounds and four steals per game.
“She's a terrific defender too,” Neumeyer added. “We need her to be more of a scorer this year. Everybody else knows it. We get everybody's best effort defensively, which makes what she's doing even more impressive.”
Krauss has been an effective shooter from all over the floor.
“She's an outstanding 3-point shooter,” Neumeyer said. “She's shooting about 40 percent from 3-point line and about 80 percent from free throws. She has worked hard on her ball handling and her post-up game; she's about 5’8”. We have some smaller guards in our league. She's been working hard on her post game and has done some postup stuff this year that has been helpful, too. I think that will only help her down the road as well. She wants to get better and she does whatever it takes.”
Last season, Krauss scored an impressive 25 points in the second half of a game.
“This year (in early February) we played St. Louis and she finished with 29 points,” Neumeyer said. “She had 21 in the first half. She can go on some scoring runs that are impressive, but what really impresses me is that she's an outstanding defender, too. She plays both ends of the floor. She's on the other team's top player most games. She's playing a full 94 feet every night.”
Krauss said her team's success this winter “reflects all the extra work myself and other teammates have put in this summer with our coach, and I think we've had a pretty good season compared to others.”
She added that her role is to bring the ball up, start the plays and run the offense.
“I'm kind of who my teammates look up to, to tell them what to do,” Krauss said. “My coach really wants me to be a leader out there. He looks for me to score and pass and get other people involved as well.”
Her single game season high is 29 points.
“I felt I could make all the shots I had,” she said. “My teammates gave me the ball when I was open.”