Two Sacred Heart basketball players were recognized for their roles in leading their teams to successful seasons.

Tiger senior Nathan Hesse and Tigerette freshman Bella Walterscheid were each named second team all-state in TAPPS Class 2A.

Sacred Heart athletic director and girls’ basketball coach Cody Wilson said this recognition was well-earned.

“Nathan (was) the driving force behind everything that we, on the boys’ side, did,” Wilson said. “Nathan was just instrumental in the physicality and the effort in practice and in games, the mentality that they took into games. Without him, the team wasn’t the same every time he wasn’t on the court.

“As far as Bella, she just came in as a freshman and did everything that was needed. Had a lot of really good leadership from the upperclassmen who kind of helped her grow early on and allowed her to do the things that she needed to do on the court… (She) just kind of took over the offensive side of things for us.”

After neither team made the playoffs last year, both squads reached at least the second round this season. Both Sacred Heart teams were eliminated by teams that reached the state tournament, and the team which beat the boys made the state title game.

Hesse helped lead the Tigers to two playoff wins and came close to sending Sacred Heart to the state tournament. Walterscheid helped lead the Tigerettes to a second-place finish in their district, giving them a bye to the second round of the playoffs.

Wilson said Walterscheid is part of a group of young players who will lead the Tigerettes for the next few years.

“Our top two players in district voting were both freshmen,” Wilson said. “So, for Bella to be all-state and then Christina (Sullivan) be one vote away from being an all-state selection tells you that we got a lot of young core athletes.”

These honors come after both Hesse and Walterscheid were named first team all-district, and Walterscheid was also named district offensive MVP.

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