Although the 2019-20 campaign came to a close for the Van Meter girls basketball team, recent accolades keep the conversation going. Recently the list of West Central Activities Conference All-Conference members was released.
For the Van Meter Bulldogs, they witnessed four of their own earn such honors. One individual earned first-team status followed by one second-team selection and a pair of honorable mention honorees. The Bulldogs’ first-team selection was an obvious selection in senior Clair Lauterbach. The Bulldog sharpshooter earned unanimous selection with her second straight first-team selection.
In leading the Bulldogs for a second straight season in scoring, the senior captured 395 total points, averaging 16.5 points per contest. Both marks rank third inside West Central Activities Conference play. Lauterbach was a threat from anywhere on the court including from beyond the arc where she was second across all conference shooters with 63 made three-point buckets. Lauterbach was quite efficient from the floor including the free-throw line where she connected on 77.1 percent. The all-around hoops star also found efficiency on the defensive end where she swiped 64 steals on the season.
“Clair is very strong in the game of basketball,” said head coach Jay Olson earlier this season. “She knows the game well and is such a great teammate.”
Following Lauterbach was another two-year all-conference member in Natalie Barth who earned second-team all-conference honors. The fellow senior was a menace to all opponents for a multitude of reasons. Barth was strong off the glass and fell just nine rebounds short of 500 career rebounds after 176 total for the 2019-20 campaign. Barth averaged 8.6 points per game across her farewell season and did so with the teams’ highest shooting efficiency at 59.7 percent. Barth was also solid from the charity stripe at a clip of 60.3 percent. Barth’s efficiency extended far beyond the physical performances and just like Lauterbach, showed up in other areas.
“Both Natalie and Clair are such great leaders for this team both on and off the court,” said Olson. “They know what to do when things get tough on the court and they are such great teammates both on and off the court. They have been great for this team in so many ways.”
The two honorable mention honorees for the Bulldogs included rebound machine, Jorja Hanselman and Zoie Vaught. The sophomore Vaught had a solid breakout season where she averaged six points per contest while shooting 44.3 percent from the field. Vaught also made the assist look easy as she totaled 49 assists on the year not to mention swiping 38 steals on the defensive end. Van Meter’s leader off the glass this season was the rising star known as Jorja Hanselman. The junior led the Bulldogs and ranked fourth in the conference with 186 total rebounds on the season. That was broken up into 72 offensive rebounds (second-best in the conference) and 114 defensive rebounds. Hanselman also totaled 118 points scored on the season.
Another season in the books and another All-Conference list peppered with Van Meter stars. While there is a concern for who the team loses, there’s perhaps more excitement for who the team has returning to the high school hardwood. None-the-less, the 2019-20 campaign has been a good one, thanks to the help of the four All-Conference honorees.