Amanda Cegelske is the third in a line of Cegelske siblings to suit up for the Granada-Huntley-East Chain Mustangs' girls basketball team.
The Sentinel All-Area hoopster and two-time all-Valley Conference basketball selection is hoping to finish her final season on the prep hardwood with a successful campaign.
"This year's starters are almost the same as last year's," said Cegelske. "Four of us are seniors, so I've been playing with them since fourth grade. We have great team chemistry and I think that we can keep getting better and better as the season goes along."
BACK-UP PLAN — Granada-Huntley-East Chain point guard Amanda Cegelske (right) analyzes Blue Earth Area guard Jenna Stevermer’s defensive stance while backing her way up the court during season-opening basketball action on Nov. 26 in Blue Earth. Photo by Leanna Becker
The Mustangs started their season with a 4-4 overall record and so far, are 4-3 in the conference. The two-time GHEC captain is averaging 10.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, helping lead her team's offense this season.
With last year's disappointing end of the season weighing on Cegelske's mind, she would like to end her final season in the black-and-gold in late February or March.
"My sophomore year, when I was playing with my sister (Alyssa), we made it to Gustavus (Adolphus College's court). After that, I made it my personal goal to get back there. Last year, we lost in the first round (of the postseason), but this year I think we'll do better," said Cegelske.
Through her eight years of lacing up the sneakers, Cegelske has been versatile, helping her team in any way that she can.
"I think that is the best thing about her as a player, she does everything she's asked to do on the court. She can play inside and outside, but whatever she is asked to do, she is willing to do," said Granada-Huntley-East Chain head coach Rick Uttech.
After years of running the point, Cegelske was moved to inside to play post early in her high school career. That was where her sisters Alyssa and Ashlynn excelled, but this season, Amanda is exactly where she wants to be, out patrolling the 3-point arc and running the point.
"When I was younger, I always ran the point. I like to bring the ball up, but when I was on B-squad, they (coaches) moved me to post. Now I like to play wing, you have a lot of different options and I can see to get my teammates the ball," said Cegelske.
Her ball-handling skills and vision give Cegelske a different perspective on the court than her two older sisters, but clearly the same skills and love for the game run in the family.
"Both of my older sisters were post players, and both were good. I wanted to play when I was younger because they did," said Cegelske. "We have different strengths as players, but what they did inspires me to do as well as they did."
As a Mustang, Cegelske has amassed 458 points, 354 rebounds, 142 steals and made 45 blocks. Amanda knows that she won't break any of her sister Alyssa's records (scoring and rebounds), but as long as she is still playing basketball, she's happy.
"For Amanda, the season can never be long enough," said Uttech. "She loves playing basketball."
"I just love the game," said Cegelske. "It's pretty awesome when my sisters come and watch me play. They tell me things I do well or things I can do to get better. It's really great and I try to play well and impress them."