By William

LINDSBORG – While their record may not have shown it, the Smoky Valley girls basketball made big improvements as the 2019-20 season went along and will have plenty to look forward to heading into the 2020-21 schedule.

The overall record was just 6-15 and they only won two of nine Central Kansas League games, but over half, eight games to be exact, of the games the Lady Vikings lost – they lost by eight points or less.

“I believe the Smoky Valley girls showed improvement in all facets of the game,” noted Lady Viking Head Coach Larry Van Der Wege. “We improved in pretty much all of our statistical categories, including points per game {37.1}, field goal shooting percentage, free throw percentage, and rebounds per game. I was proud of how we competed night in and night out. There was only one game that we didn’t compete in and even a couple that had larger loss margins we had at least competed through a half or more of the game.”

Ellie Brumbaugh, a senior to be next season, was considered the overall team leader as she led the Lady Vikings in scoring by averaging 10.1 points per game while leading the team in three-pointers made with 34 and finishing third on the team in minutes played with 532. Brumbaugh earned a couple of post-season honors as she was named second-team All-Central Kansas League while gaining honorable mention All-State Class 3A by Sports in Kansas.

Two other players that will be counted on next season will be senior-to-be Kerington Haxton who led the Lady Vikings in assists with 45, steals with 50 and minutes played with 559 while ranking second in rebounds with 97, and junior-to-be Breanna Priddy who led the team in rebounds with 168 and being second in minutes played with 543. Priddy and Haxton also finished second and third on the team in scoring by averaging 6.7 and 6.4 points per game respectively.

Continuing his post-season reflections, Coach Van Der Wege added, “Overall, we won two more games than last year. Where we maybe stumbled was our point production and inside/outside balance was better earlier in the season. We just couldn’t get the stop or get the score when we needed late in several ballgames to get a win.”

Looking ahead to next season, Coach Van Der Wege concluded his reflections by saying, “Macie Carlson and Kaylie Ryan were our only two seniors and while Kaylie was a starter for us, both lead with great effort and attitude. We will return some quality players in seniors-to-be Claire Broxterman and McKinley Johnson as well as Brumbaugh and Haxton. Next season juniors will include Priddy, Gracie Lambert, Abby Rose, Madi Tolle and Avery Van Der Wege. We will also have other junior varsity players that will step up. I think we should be able to build on the progress that we made this year as several girls played their first varsity experience this year and made good improvement. We still have a lot of work to do to improve our offensive efficiency, but I think we can do it.”


Leaders in Scoring {Avg}: Ellie Brumbaugh 213 {10.1}; Breanna Priddy 140 {6.7}; Kerington Haxton 138 {6.4}.

Leaders in 3-Pointers Made: Ellie Brumbaugh 34; Kerington Haxton, McKinley Johnson 15; Abby Rose 13.

Leaders in Assists: Kerington Haxton 45; Abby Rose 23; Ellie Brumbaugh, Avery Van Der Wege 22; Breanna Priddy, McKinley Johnson 18.

Leaders in Rebounds {Off/Def}: Breanna Priddy 168 {62/106}; Kerington Haxton 97 {30/67}; Kaylie Ryan 69 {28/41}; Abby Rose 56 {14/42}; Ellie Brumbaugh 47 {7/40}; Claire Broxterman 47 {18/29}.

Leaders in Steals: Kerington Haxton 50; Ellie Brumbaugh 36; Breanna Priddy 24.

Leaders in Deflections: Kerington Haxton, Breanna Priddy 34.

Leaders in Blocked Shots: Abby Rose 21; Breanna Priddy 16; Kaylie Ryan 13.

Leaders in Minutes Played: Kerington Haxton 559; Breanna Priddy 543; Ellie Brumbaugh 532; Kaylie Ryan 467; McKinley Johnson 456; Abby Rose 352; Avery Van Der Wege 237; Claire Broxterman 235; Macie Carlson 201.

{This Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers}

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