In her junior season, LeeAnne Wirth checked all the boxes you want to see in terms of growth. While playing nearly the same amount of minutes she did in her sophomore season, Wirth added a couple more points and a a decimal point more rebonds to her overall box score.
Most importantly, she made the increases in style where necessary. Wirth bumped her field goal percentage up to 47.2 percent this season, the third highest on the squad. She also evolved into a defensive wrecking ball in the post, and this evolution is what has helped turn the Gonzaga Bulldogs into the one of the foremost defensive-minded squads on the west coast.
Wirth tallied 40 steals in the post, the second-highest total on the team. Her 23 blocks kept her tied for second on the squad as well. Where as LeeAnne’s sister Jenn sees a bit more of the offensive focus, on the defensive end, it is the two-syllable Wirth twin holding down the fort.
Going into next season, all of the pieces for the Bulldogs are there, and head coach Lisa Fortier has demonstrated over the past few seasons she enjoys running out a deep bench. Wirth won’t likely see a huge uptick in minutes, so it is safe to assume that much of her production will stay the same.
That isn’t a bad thing by any stretch. The Bulldogs made their case as one of the better basketball teams in the west by a full-blown team approach. No one really takes over a game on this squad, and their opponents slowly die by a thousand cuts.
With the LeeAnne Wirth and her sister Jenn leading the charge down low for the second-straight year, we know what we are in for: some smooth post play and some beautiful jumpers.
The Zags finished the year with one their best season in school history. They have all the pieces to build off of last year, and as long as LeeAnne Wirth keeps up her consistency on the defensive end, the Zags will be looking good in the long run.