CADOTT — Dave Hazuga can see it.
The fourth-year Cadott girls basketball coach can take a look at his Hornet squad and see its potential.
Cadott returns three players that started every game last season along with four players that found time in the starting lineup or played significant minutes off the bench.
That combination mixed with some talented newcomers has Hazuga and his team feeling their are poised to improve from last season’s 3-20 record.
“The biggest thing that has jumped out at me is the potential (of the team) is the highest it’s been since I’ve been here,” Hazuga said. “We’ve got a little more size and athleticism and the high energy and high character is there.
We’ve just got to work on playing with each other and they’ve got to rebound better. We have to be able to run our offense better so we can get quality shots.”
Senior Cailin Rineck and juniors Jenna Sedlacek and Mary Jo Prokupek return after starting all 23 games for the Hornets a season ago. Sedlacek averaged 5.5 points per contest while Prokupek averaged five points a game. Rineck chipped in with 4.2 points per game to give the team a trio of players with plenty of varsity experience.
“For us to be successful, our returning experienced players are going to have to do more. They will have to be better than they were last year, I’m going to have to be better than I was last year and some of our young players that we’re bringing along their learning curve has to go quickly so they can contribute fairly quick,” Hazuga said.
Senior Kylee Poehls, junior Kaitlyn Tice and sophomores Jennifer Sonnentag and Abby Eiler saw plenty of action a season ago with senior Cheyann Seibel, junior Megan Fasbender, sophomores Paisley Kane and Autumn Bremness and freshmen Jada Kowalczyk, Hailey Wellner and Meadow Barone all in line for varsity time as well.
With all those potential players in line for playing time, Hazuga said much of the first few weeks will be figuring out what players work best where.
“We’re starting to role define on what your job is and right now we still have a ways to go on that and it’s starting to happen but I’m still playing around with rotations,” Hazuga said. “I’m not actually sure who player six through nine is (right now) and I’m going to be using the next few games to figure that out.”
Cadott opened the season with a 51-45 loss to Eau Claire Immanuel on Nov. 14 before falling to Crandon (65-35) and Rhinelander (68-46) at the Tom Kislow Classic at Wausau East last Friday and Saturday. Following Tuesday evening’s nonconference game at Cornell, the Hornets open Western Cloverbelt Conference play at home against Eau Claire Regis on Friday before hosting Stanley-Boyd next Tuesday.