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A homegrown dream: Cassie Schiltz and UW-Green Bay have sights set on the 'Big Dance'

A homegrown dream: Cassie Schiltz and UW-Green Bay have sights set on the 'Big Dance'
Posted at 7:32 PM, Jan 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-10 20:32:23-05

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — On December 5th, the (12-3) UW-Green Bay women’s basketball team lost a non-conference matchup on the road to DePaul. Since then the Phoenix have rattled off 7 straight wins. Not one opponent has come within double-digits.

A big reason for their success is redshirt junior Cassie Schiltz who is a leader on and off the court.

For as long as she can remember, she’s been coming to Phoenix games and now she hopes to lead them back to the NCAA tournament.

“It’s so special,” she said. “It was my dream to come here, so it’s amazing to be able to play in this atmosphere in front of my family and friends, with this team and coaches.”

Growing up right down the road in Luxemburg and starring for the Spartans in high school, Schiltz dreamed she would be donning the green and white, idolizing players like Mehryn Kraker, Allie LeClaire, and Jessica Lindstrom.

“I was here (at the Kress Center) all the time, especially in high school,” Schiltz. “I don’t think I missed one game.”

“She’s always wanted to have been a part of this – that’s special,” said Phoenix head coach Kevin Borseth. “It really is. She takes it seriously, she’s a great leader. She saw the people in the past, how well they did and she kind of mirrors that right now and wants to be one of those people.”

In her redshirt junior season, she’s putting up career-best shooting numbers, making 45% of her shots and 41% from distance, while averaging 11 points per game.

“Always been a really good shooter,” Borseth said. “I remember recruiting her out of high school, she had 7 (three-pointers) in one of the games, I think against Freedom. And then she had that one night earlier in the year and I was like, ‘That’s the Cassie Schiltz that I recruited.’ She had some big shots but certainly has shot a lot better. Confidence is up and kind of recognizes the shots she gets in our offense.”

It’s not just her play on the court, it’s her leadership helping lead the Phoenix to first place in the Horizon League.

“She knows what we're capable of,” said Borseth. “If it’s not perfect if it’s not right, she's the first one to jump in and say, ‘Hey let's get going here a little bit’.”

“I learned from the people above me,” Schiltz said. “I knew that one day I would step into this role, so I’m just taking it all in.”

Now she’s hoping she can help this team book a trip to the big dance for the first time since 2018.

“That’s always been my goal since the day I stepped here. I want to be in the NCAA tournament. I watched other teams be in the NCAA tournament. It would be so awesome to be there and we’re working for that,” Schiltz said.

Schiltz plans to return for her redshirt senior season using up all of her eligibility.

The Phoenix host conference foe Youngstown State at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Kress Center.