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Girls basketball team sets cumulative GPA record

Mar. 8—With only one senior on the roster this season, the Panthers' young lineup struggled to keep the momentum over four quarters. The girls basketball team finished the season 6-16 overall with a 1-9 Hawkeye 10 record.

"We grew up a lot under fire this year with our youth," Coach Tony Neubauer said. "Our kids consistently played hard and were extremely competitive against quality teams. We just were not consistent enough for four quarters to get over the hump and beat good teams."

The struggles went throughout the season. Either a fast start or a comeback finish, the Panthers couldn't keep their energy and success consistent throughout the game.

"In essence, we were almost a good basketball team this year," Neubauer said. "But our kids worked hard day in and day out and never hung their heads. It was fun to see them get paid off with a really fun win at home against Earlham."

At the team's banquet Sunday, sophomore Kadley Bailey was named team MVP while sophomore Hollynn Rieck earned offensive MVP and sophomore Ella Turner was declared defensive MVP.

"Kadley had a really steady season for us. She was in the top 10 in the Hawkeye 10 in both scoring and steals and the leading sophomore scorer in the conference," Neubauer said. "She was really consistent for us."

Bailey earned a spot on the Hawkeye 10 Honorable Mention All Conference team and the 4A Region 3 All-Region Team. She led the team in scoring with 290 points, averaging 13.2 per game. She had 115 rebounds and her 73 steals tied Creston's single season steals record.

"She made some big plays to help us get a few more wins this year," Neubauer said. "We're really excited to have her back for two more years."

Rieck had 112 points for the Panthers this season, averaging 5.1 per game. She led the team with 87 assists. Turner led the team in rebounds with 176, putting up 8 per game. She also logged 141 points.

Sophomore Brynn Tussey was awarded varsity's most improved player, finishing the season second in scoring and rebounds with 170 and 150, respectively. She also boasted the team's top percentage from the field at 42%. Also earning a most improved title was JV player Kaylynn Smolk.

Senior Lydia Goins earned the Panther Pride award. "Lydia, our lone senior, did a really nice job for us this year," Neubauer said. "She played her role well, and hit a few big shots for us against Earlham to help us get that win." Goins was also named to the Hawkeye 10 Academic All-Conference for her stellar grades.

Lydia Goins, the team's only senior, earned the Panther Pride award and earned Hawkeye 10 Academic All-Conference honors.

Goins wasn't the only Panther being dedicated in the classroom. The girls set a new record for highest team GPA with a cumulative 3.921.

Team captains selected for the upcoming season are Turner, Tussey, Bailey and Ady Morrison.

"We return all five starters and 97% of our scoring," Neubauer said of next season. "We talked about making this season meaningful. We have to build on the foundation that we built by working hard in the off season both in the weight room and during summer basketball. I think our kids will do that."

LETTERWINNERS:

Three time:

Lydia Goins

Alyssa Gerdes

Ava Adamson

Two time:

Ady Morrison

Averi Culbertson

Ella Turner

Brynn Tussey

Hollynn Rieck

Kadley Bailey

Braylee Pokorny

Jaycee Hanson

First time:

Kaylynn Smolk

10,000 SHOT CLUB: Ella Turner, Brynn Tussey, Alyssa Gerdes