Hortonville basketball routs Kaukauna
By Erik Buchinger
In her final regular season home game in a Hortonville uniform, Shay Frederick knocked down six 3-pointers and scored a game-high 22 points in a 68-34 win over Kaukauna on Thursday, Feb. 15.
Prior to the Polar Bears’ starting lineup introductions, head coach Celeste Ratka and the school’s superintendent Todd Timm surprised Frederick at midcourt with a basketball to commemorate achievements in her last four years with the program.
“No one told me anything, and I was really surprised,” Frederick said. “Then they handed the microphone to me, and I was like, ‘I have to talk?’ But yeah, I’m really thankful for how everything went though and for whoever set that up. I’m really blessed.”
Frederick set the program’s all-time scoring record earlier this season and now holds the mark among all Hortonville basketball players. With her performance on Thursday night, she increased her points total to 1,365, four more than Ryan Krueger who set the record with the boys’ team last season.
“It’s pretty special,” Frederick said. “I put a lot of time and work into this program and into my game to be able to accomplish something like that, but obviously it couldn’t be done without my teammates. It’s kind of a team achievement because I wouldn’t get open without them or without their support or my parents bringing me to the gym. It really takes a village to be able to do something like that.”
Frederick came into the game with 365 career assists, 259 3-pointers and 190 steals.
“Wow, what an accomplishment,” Ratka said. “We’re really proud of her. It’s a testament of all the hard work she put in not only during the season but for her entire life she’s worked for this and put in the time. I’m really happy for her and glad she’s getting some recognition for it.”
In an effort to keep it a secret, Ratka said she knew she could not tell any of the players on the team, who might spoil the surprise.
“It was a lot of our administration coordinating it. They did a really nice job with the family, and they were very sneaky keeping it a secret. I didn’t tell any of the girls because I know they can’t keep secrets,” Ratka said with a laugh.
Hortonville jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first half before but allowed Kaukauna to get within two points. The Polar Bears went on a run and took a 27-17 lead into halftime before pulling away in the second half.
Hortonville’s Emily Nelson scored all 12 of her points in the second half with three 3-pointers, while Macy McGlone added 11 points.
Of the 10 3-pointers made by Hortonville, Frederick had six of them.
“She definitely makes my job easier,” Ratka said. “It’s just been a joy to watch her. With some of the stuff she does, it’s fun to just sit back and be a spectator at times.”
The Polar Bears earned a No. 1 seed in the WIAA Division 2 girls’ basketball tournament and will not play until Friday, Feb. 23.
Hortonville came into last season’s tournament as the top-seeded team but lost in the state semifinals with its lowest scoring performance of the season. Frederick said the perfect way to wrap up her high school basketball career would be with a state championship.
“That’s definitely the goal, especially with how we ended that last year,” Frederick said. “I think I talked to you before the season, and I told you we weren’t happy with how that went. That’s definitely our goal. I think we have all the weapons to do it, but we’ve just got to stay focused and take one game at a time and hopefully end up back there.”
No matter how the season ends, Ratka said the future of the Hortonville basketball program can appreciate the importance of working hard by admiring Frederick’s accomplishments.
“I think she is such an example of what hard work can do,” Ratka said. “She’s gotten a lot out of her small little stature. A lot of people talk about her size, and I get that completely. She’s kind of shown that if you work hard for something that you can make anything happen, and that is something the girls really look up to her for.”