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Girls Basketball: Kaneland’s Lexi Schueler embracing change this offseason

OSWEGO – Lexi Schueler is embracing change this offseason.

Kaneland’s junior guard, one of a core of returning girls who received significant minutes on last year’s 18-13 team, is acclimating to new Knights’ coach Brian Claesson. Claesson, a nine-year assistant in the girls program, has brought with him a new offensive system.

On top of that, Schueler has spent the offseason rebuilding her shot.

She’s pleased with the results so far. Schueler and the Knights concluded their June schedule together on Thursday with three games at the Oswego Shootout.

“I think we did really well,” Schueler said. “We’re growing a lot as a program, starting to jell a lot better. I think we’re starting to trust each other more.”

Claesson is installing a bit of a faster tempo than the Knights are familiar with in the past. Schueler said in the halfcourt they’re doing more screens away, whereas last year Kaneland just did pass and cuts.

“I think it will work for us a lot better; it’s getting a lot more people open,” Schueler said. “We’re knocking down a lot more shots because of it, getting better drives. A lot more are open and making shots.”

That includes Schueler, who picked up her first scholarship offer from Benedictine University in May. She rebuilt her shot over the last month and has been working to get plenty of repetitions down.

Kaneland's Lexi Schueler (3) attempts a contested layup at the Oswego High School Shootout. June 30, 2022.

Kaneland’s Lexi Schueler (3) attempts a contested layup at the Oswego High School Shootout. June 30, 2022. (Gary E Duncan Sr. for Shaw Local/)

In July Schueler will be on the road all but five days in events with her travel team, the Illinois Rockets.

“Trying to work on my shot, trying to knock down more shots, just working on that,” Schueler said. “I go to my trainer every Wednesday with my sister and then I shoot around every day either at Kaneland or at home.”

That kind of dedication doesn’t surprise Kaneland sophomore coach Jenna Thorp, who helped coach the Knights at the Oswego Shootout in Claesson’s absence.

“Great kid,” Thorp said. “I think she has the mentality to pass first and wants to share the ball and get teammates involved. She will be one that we’ll rely on heavily this year. She needs to not be afraid and look for that jump shot. Great kid, great family, very much a basketball mindset.”

Five seniors graduated from last season’s Kaneland team, but the Knights returns some players who saw heavy rotation, including current senior Katharine Marshall and Schueler. Sophomore Kendra Brown and senior Kailey Plank should also have big impacts along with junior Beryln Ruh.

Thorp said that the Knights just need to get new reps working the new offense. One thing she knows from experience with the program, effort will never be in question.

“That’s a group that will lay it out on the line and work their butt off for you,” Thorp said. “The offense will come, defense I’m not too worried about. They’re going to hustle. Their defense is going to drive that offense.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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