She's broken or tied six state girls basketball tournament records, including the single game scoring record with 50 against Braham in the Class AA championship. This season, Carlie Wagner has put the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers on the Minnesota basketball map as the Examiner goes one on one the player who has verbally committed to Minnesota.
Wagner, a resident of New Richland described her experience growing up in a small southern Minnesota town. She described it as a great experience. "You know everybody. Everybody is your friend. We're really close in the community."
The 5'10" junior guard started playing basketball in the third grade. She was inspired by her cousins who were also basketball players. "I want to be like them," she said. She also recalled the experience playing with her cousins in the driveway as very positive. "Just trying to help as much as they can."
Wagner made her varsity debut for the Panthers as an eight grader against the Belle Plaine Tigers. She mentioned that it was a scary experience. "It was fun. I had 14 points."
Wagner's head coach John Schultz has coached her since she was a third grader. She told what it was like playing for the NRHEG head coach. "It's awesome. He's literally my second dad. "
Schultz's daughter Jade, also a junior, is Wagner's best friend. She said that Jade has been a part of her development as a player. "She's a great friend and always there for me."
This season, the Panthers only loss was to Class AAA school Chaska in the Breakdown Classic at Hopkins High School. Wagner gave her reaction to NRHEG's lone defeat. "It was a good thing we lost to them. It lessened the pressure.
Carlie is not the only member of the Wagner family on the Panther varsity. Her twin sisters, eight graders Maddie and Marnie also get playing time and sometimes they're all in the game at the same time. "They are so much fun to play with. They have developed into such great players. "
As for next season, Wagner, who also is a member of the NRHEG track team and plays AAU basketball with the Minnesota Stars looked ahead toward next season. "I'm expecting good things since we have girls who work really hard."
Can number three lead NRHEG to number one in 2014?