Lincoln Pius X High School senior Jadyn Greisen is working hard to make sure that her final year of high school basketball is also her best year.
That comes as no surprise to her head coach, Ryan Psota, who’s accustomed to nothing short of all-out effort from his four-year varsity performer.
The 5-foot-8 senior shooting guard is working on all phases of her game and has high expectations. Psota describes his second-year starter as a “really physical guard” and a steady contributor in all phases of the game. “She does a nice job driving the ball to the basket, is a good outside shooter, and a productive rebounder.”
Greisen says she’s her biggest critic. “You could say that I’m harder on myself than the coaches are,” the team leader says with a laugh. “Because I’m considered somewhat tall for a guard, I’m usually assigned to defend the opposing team’s tallest guard, although the defensive assignments tend to vary,” she said.
Greisen comes off a junior season in which she averaged 6.1 points, 2 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game for a team that finished 15-10 overall and was ousted in the first round of the Class A state high school tournament.
Although last season was her first as a starter, she was a varsity contributor as a sophomore and a practice player as a freshman. She’s one of 11 girls returning from last year’s 14-member varsity team. Greisen and her teammates hope the abundance of experience will translate into success throughout the regular season and beyond.
“My role will be to play tough defense and to help trigger our fast-breaking offense,” Greisen said. “Speed is one of our team assets, so I hope we can utilize that strength by running whenever possible.”
Other full-time starters back from last year’s state tournament team are senior Kloee Sander, and juniors Lauren Taubenheim and Grace Driewer. Also back are senior Clare Lewandowski, who started the first half of last season, and senior Morgan Christensen.
Lincoln Pius X is in its first season in the Heartland Athletic Conference. Psota is looking forward to the challenge in girls basketball.
“The only thing that changes for us is now we have a conference tournament over the Christmas break. Other than that, we play the same schedule as last year, playing a full Class A schedule,” said Psota.
He added, “I think the conference will be great for us because we hopefully will gain more of a Class A identity and also we can further develop some natural rivals with the LPS schools in the conference.”
Psota was the Thunderbolts’ assistant girls basketball coach for 18 years. Last spring, he was named head coach after Bill Rice – the all-time winningest coach in the Pius X program’s history - resigned his basketball coaching duties after last season.
Rice finished his career with 283 wins, 11 state tournament appearances, and the 2015 Class B state championship. Rice continues to teach at Pius X and coaches track and cross country.