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High School| High-school

High School| High-school

HOLCOMBE Sports teams are keen to foster a family atmosphere.

Lake Holcombe’s girls basketball team does not have to travel far to achieve this goal.

The Chieftains have nine players on their roster, but there are three sisters. Karly and Emmy Kirkman; Emma and Brooke Lechleitner; Abby, and Belle Jones make up the trio of sisters on the Lake Holcombe team. They are aiming for greater success after reaching the Division 5 regional finals one season ago.

Brooke, Bella, and Karly are the older sisters in their respective pairs. They understand their roles as leaders, not only for the program but also with their younger sibling. Players say that the team has stronger bonds because there are so many sibling relationships.

Karly stated that it is easier to yell at each others because it is more friendly. You don’t get so mad at the little things that you wouldn’t if you were siblings.

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Justine Kane (Carly Vavra), Chloe Lee and Chloe Lee were the three members of this team that did not have a sister.

Vavra stated that you can tell their connection and can see them looking for one another. They have that bond on the court.

Emme, Emma, and Abby were younger siblings who entered the program in highschool with a knowledge of what to expect from older siblings. Emma, a sophomore, missed one year playing with another sibling because Emma graduated the year before Emma.

The team believes that the close-knit family bond is not just for the sisters, but is shared by all nine members of the team.

Emmy Kirkman stated, “We just felt so comfortable with everybody. It was almost as if we were our family within the team.”

They are also close friends, classmates, and neighbors in the small community.

The unique bond was tested in the second game of the season, when all five starters went down with two minutes left against Prentice. The team was left with three freshmen on the floor and one junior, Brooke Lechleitner, Vavra, juniors Karly Kirman and Kane, and sophomore Emma Lechleitner. The Chieftains fought through the choppy waters to win a nonconference victory.

Jennifer Lechleitner, who is currently leading the Lake Holcombe program in her fourth season, also shares a connection to the team as the mother Brooke and Emma.

After a 71 to 42 win over Flambeau, East Lakeland Conference champ on Tuesday, Lake Holcombe has a 5-1 record. The Chieftains travel to Shell Lake next Thursday to play a nonconference matchup. Prairie Farm (Jan. 11), Bruce (Jan. 7) as well as Gilman (Jan.4) will follow.

Brooke Lechleitner leads the team at 17.8 PPG. She recently committed to play at Division I Central Connecticut State College and has now reached the 1,000-point mark in her career. Emma Lechleitner (12.2 PPG) and Karly Kirkman (10 PPG) are both averaging double figures, with Kane (8.8) just shying of nine points per contest.

The Chieftains won seven consecutive games last year to reach the Division 5 regional finals. They lost to McDonell, who was competing in a state-qualifying effort.

The team’s chemistry and cohesion is a key factor in Lake Holcombe’s success. With three sets of sisters, some of that is natural. The rest comes from being close friends off and on the court and seeing the rewards come gametime.

Vavra stated that there are so many bonds on the court that it really helps us out at the court at the same moment.

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