Triple double: Three sets of sisters bring bond to basketball team

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The MFL MarMac varsity girls basketball team includes three sets of sisters: Jordan and Jayde Schubert (left), Hannah and Summer Schutte and Lauren and Kayden Gillitzer. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The MFL MarMac girls basketball team has a rule in practice: sisters are not allowed to guard one another. Sometimes, that can be a challenge, considering three sets of them play together on the varsity squad.

Jess Schubert, an assistant coach for the team on which her daughters Jayde (a senior) and Jordan (a junior) play, recalled one instance earlier this season when the two faced off. 

“It got so aggressive they had to stop the drill,” she commented, chuckling. “[Head coach Jason Winter] said, ‘I really like the intensity, but you don’t have to hurt each other.’”

“After that,” Jess quipped, “it was smooth sailing.”

The girls believe their sisterly connection—and the intensity it brings—gives the Bulldogs, who finished the regular season 20-1 and claimed the Upper Iowa Conference title, an edge. 

“I love it. It makes it more fun,” said Jordan.

“People [on the team] see how close we are,” noted Jayde, “and they want to be close. It’s like a team bond.”

“We mesh together better as a team,” added Hannah Schutte, a senior who plays with twin sister Summer.

It helps that they all think similarly, Summer said.

“Those two think alike, those two think alike, and we think alike,” she explained, gesturing to the sets of sisters. “So we’re on the same page.”

 That doesn’t mean they mirror one another in playing style, though. For example, with the Schuberts, Jordan is self-described “aggressive and hot-tempered,” while Jayde takes a more laid-back approach. Hannah and Summer, as well as the Gillitzer sisters, senior Lauren and sophomore Kayden, say it’s the same for them.

“We’ve grown up on different teams, in a different environment, with different coaches,” Kayden reflected, which has influenced their on-court personas.

In a season that’s been so successful for the Bulldogs, who began tournament action Tuesday, Lauren said “it’s meant everything” that she’s been able to experience it all with her younger sister. Good game or bad, each sister knows what the other is going through. They have someone to bounce ideas off of and share concerns.

“We can help each other out off the court more,” Hannah said.

“Kayden and I analyze the game on the way home,” Lauren added.

Jayde and Jordan have learned to give one another space after a game. Eventually, though, they share their thoughts—in only a way a sister could.

“We’re not afraid to tell each other what we’re doing wrong,” Jordan said, with a smile. “It doesn’t always go well.”

However, that honesty is important. Jayde said she’ll miss it when she graduates this year.

“But for us two,” she remarked, pointing to Lauren, “we’ll get to come back next year and see these two (Jordan and Kayden) play.”

“And I’ll get to play with my younger sister,” Kayden noted, speaking of Brooke, who’s currently in eighth grade.

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