Schiltz finding her groove with Phoenix
By Rich Palzewic
GREEN BAY – Cassie Schiltz, a 2019 Luxemburg-Casco High School graduate, said before she joined the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay women’s basketball team two seasons ago, one of her biggest moments was breaking her mom’s single-game scoring record at LC.
“I had a great time at Luxemburg-Casco,” she said. “We never got too far in the (state) tournament, but we won some big games. My mom’s record was 39 points, and I scored 40 against Freedom (my sophomore year). She brought it up the other day. (Green Bay Head) Coach (Kevin) Borseth came to that game, and I hit seven 3-pointers.”
Schiltz also played volleyball at LC and helped her team advance to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Division 2 state tournament at the Resch Center in Green Bay her junior year.
“We lost in the state finals (to Lakeside Lutheran),” she said. “We blew a 2-0 (sets) lead. I don’t think about it much anymore, but people don’t remember we took state runner-up that year. My senior year, we lost in the sectional finals.”
The Spartans, under Head Coach Jeff Frey, won their third consecutive WIAA Division 2 state title in November.
Schiltz also shined on the softball diamond.
“I was a pitcher my whole life, but my freshman year, I tore my shoulder and couldn’t get the ball to the plate anymore,” she laughed. “I think I could have played college volleyball somewhere, but when I had to make the ultimate choice of what sport to pursue, I chose basketball. If I wanted to play volleyball, I would have had to play more club. I miss volleyball.”
Schiltz said her Green Bay team got a few days off from the grind of practice over the holiday season.
“It was nice, but at the same time, it was hard to enjoy totally because we knew when we got back to practice, Coach Borseth was going to run us to death,” she laughed. “The first day back was pure running, and the second day (back) was a mixture.”
Schiltz said Borseth is a “very funny guy.”
“He’s hard on me, which is a good thing,” she said. “He knows what everyone on the team is capable of, and he wants to see that on the court. He’s a great coach and knows more basketball than lots of people. Getting to know him and having him as a coach is awesome.”
Schiltz told a story about Borseth that shows his sense of humor.
“We were doing a transition drill, and someone completely tackled coach,” she said. “He fell over, and everyone started laughing. He’s always telling jokes and asking us what song is playing. He’s a unique guy.”
Schiltz has recently found her groove with the Phoenix this season.
In a Dec. 20 home game against Central Michigan University, the 5-foot-11 guard scored a career-high 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting in 23 minutes of action.
Schiltz was 2-for-3 from beyond the 3-point arc, was 6-for-6 at the free-throw line and pulled down four rebounds.
“The (Central) game was close until the end,” she said. “It felt good to play that well – I was involved, and it was free-flowing. It’s a process of learning, and I’m learning each game.”
Schiltz said her current game is different – for the time being – compared to when she played at LC.
“High school is way different than college,” she said. “When I came here, I was like, ‘Holy cats … there’s so much to learn.’ In high school, I played the 1-5 (positions) and did everything I could to help the team. I brought the ball up the floor, and I posted down low. It was easier to play more lose in high school. Here, the competition is way higher compared to high school.”
Schiltz also scored in double figures against South Dakota State (11 points), Robert Morris (16), IUPUI (13) and UIC (15).
After redshirting her freshman year at Green Bay, the team dealt with COVID-19 last season.
“I had a stress fracture my first year here, so redshirting made sense,” Schiltz said.
In 12 games this season, Schiltz has started all 12.
She’s averaging 8.3 points per game and is shooting 87% from the free-throw line.
“I don’t even know where to start,” Schiltz laughed when asked to assess her play so far this season. “I need to be more consistent with my play. In some games, I’m not shooting or finishing well, but then in others, I do well. I’ve felt I’ve been more consistent the last few games.”
As of now, Schiltz said she plans to use all three years of her remaining eligibility at Green Bay.
The NCAA granted all athletes another year of eligibility after COVID-19 created havoc last season.
“By the end (of my playing career at Green Bay), I hope to be a go-to player and have a successful career here,” Schiltz said.