Athlete of the Week: Durand’s Emily Annis

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DURAND, Wis. (WEAU) -- Durand girls basketball started the season with a 5-0 record for the third straight year in large part to a 4-year varsity starter. Panthers senior guard, Emily Annis, is our Osseo Automotive Athlete of the Week. SportScene 13’s Neil Hebert reports.

Standing just 5’5”, Emily Annis is a scoring threat from everywhere on the hardwood.

“I’ve been this height ever since I was in 6th grade, so I’ve been getting used to it,” Annis said with a smile.

1,000 points and counting in her 4-year varsity career, Annis has two conference championships and one state appearance: something she’s hoping to add to this season.

“The first goal is to win conference, but beyond that, I think we all have it in the back of our heads that we’d like to make it to state again or at least make a run,” Annis said. “I think we can achieve it this year.”

Durand has outscored their opponents by over 36 points per game this season. Emma Hansen, who’s been on varsity since her freshman season, says this team gels well on and off the court.

“We all get along really great. Another thing that helps out is communication on and off the floor,” Hansen said. “It’s a big part of what we need to do in order to be successful.”

Annis, who’s averaging over 13 points per game and nearly a 3:1 assist to turnover ratio, is a coach’s dream.

“She’s strong, she’s really smart with the basketball: she’s just an unbelievable player,” Darrin Loewenhagen, who’s in his 1st season as the Panthers head coach, said. “She does all the things you want a player to do, and she does them really well.”

Annis knows her on-the-court actions go much farther than just wins and losses

“Watching Morgan Gruber or Jake Webber when I was in 6th grade going, ‘Oh, I want to be like that!’ It’s hard to believe that we’re those people now,” Annis said. “We’re those idols for those little kids in the stands. It’s a really big responsibility when you’re out on the court because you have to keep in mind that you have your whole town watching you and some of them are little kids that idolize you, even though you probably don’t feel like it. It’s really cool, especially in Durand. Everybody comes to these games.”

A senior, Annis says this will be her final year playing organized basketball. She’ll head to UW-Eau Claire majoring in Information Systems and Communications, but also pursue music theatre.

“I love basketball, but I just feel like there are other passions in my life, too, and it’s good to fuel all your passions,” Annis said. “I’m definitely excited to be pursuing a new part of my repertoire in the future.”