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"The hardest part of the recruiting process is telling a coach that you aren’t interested in going to college there."


School is here once again after an exciting and busy summer (sorry for such a long delay on a blog!). It’s hard to believe that I’m a senior and it’s the last year that I’ll be walking the halls at St. Peter. Basketball season is finally here though! We have 3 weeks of practice under our belts and definitely ready for our first game. It’s only the beginning of what we are hoping is going to be a memorable year.

There have been some big changes to our varsity program. We have a new coach, Bob Southworth, who was an outstanding basketball and football player at Gustavus Adolphus College. We participated in a summer league with teams around southern Minnesota and went to team camp at South Dakota State University. It’s a growing and learning process, and I feel that we made some good strides forward through the summer. Also, Alyssa Kerkhoff moved to St. Peter and has become a great asset to the team.

To keep our skills sharp, we played in the fall league at Bloomington Kennedy. It’s such a great feeling to get on the court again. It was such a thrill going to State last year, but we all want more this year and we’re willing to give our all 100% of the time to reach our goals. With our goals in mind, our motto for the season is “Whatever it Takes.”

We have 14 girls on our varsity roster this year and they are all ready to contribute in their own unique way. It’s a great group of girls. We get along and enjoy being in each other’s company. Even though some can say we have a lot of talent, I believe the thing that makes us different from other teams is our work ethic. Each girl is going to work her butt off the whole 2 hours of practice every day. If one of us is slacking, we get on each other and encourage to keep pushing. That is where our success comes from. We might not be hitting our shots, but we are going to out work our opponent, which will hopefully, lead us to victory. Along with the high school and community, I am very excited for the season and what it could potentially be.

This summer I played again for the Minnesota Stars under Coach Borowicz. We went to tournaments in Indiana, Cincinnati, Florida, Nashville, and Chicago, along with quite a few in Minnesota. It was a successful summer. We had a talented team that worked hard and got along really well. We won the Adidas National Championship for the second year in a row and got 3rd at the Super Showcase in Florida. The thing that I’m going to miss the most next summer is not being able to play AAU anymore. I’ve made so many great friends and even though traveling around the country on a coach bus can be a pain, doing it with some of my best friends makes it all worthwhile.

Since that was my last year of AAU and I was entering my senior year, being recruited finally came into play. I visited a number of campuses this past summer, sent out film to schools that I might have an interest in, trying to let coaches know who I am. I went to Creighton, Marquette, Michigan, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and South Dakota State University. It was a great learning experience meeting all the different staffs, getting a feel for different campuses, and just enjoying the opportunities I’ve been given. After AAU was over, in August I got a feel of which schools were interested in me. I received early scholarship offers from very quality programs Creighton, Colorado State, Green Bay and SDSU. But instead of deciding during August, I thought it would be in my best interest to hold off a decision. I did this because I was still on Marquette, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin’s radars. The hardest part of the recruiting process is telling a coach that you aren’t interested in going to college there. Even though every one tells you it’s part of their job and they hear it all the time, to me it’s hard because it is so personal. The exciting part of the process was when coaches started asking for you to go on official visits. I went on official visits to Missouri, SDSU, Marquette, and Wisconsin. Each one was such a great and unforgettable experience.

As you all probably know by now, I signed my letter of intent with Wisconsin. Here’s the story of how that came to be. My main goal was to be decided by when basketball season started so I could sign during the early signing period. Coach Stone called and offered me the Saturday before the signing period started that Wednesday. I took my official visit there that next weekend. I had about two days to make my decision. I never ever thought it would come down to being so close to the last signing day. It was definitely the most difficult decision of my life but I got some great advice, which really helped me in the end.

Lastly, I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given throughout my career and hopefully this season will be just as blessed. Unfortunately we’ve already lost a key contributor to the team in Sidney Dirks with an ACL tear, but we’re working hard to overcome this adversity. It’s time to pin point St. Peter on your maps, because it’s time to finally play on Tuesday night! Best the luck to everyone this season and hope everyone stays injury free!




"We were going to state!  The state experience was great."

Even though my junior season ended March 17, this is probably the first time I’ve been able to sit down and put my thoughts together on paper.   Two years ago I can remember my first varsity possession.  We were being pressed, the ball was passed into me and I traveled.  Starting my varsity career with a turnover.  We finished the season 4-19.  Since that first game, a lot has changed for St. Peter basketball.  Going into the season we knew we could compete, but I honestly can say that I didn’t think we would make it to state.  It was in the way back of my mind and if we wouldn’t make it, I knew we would be even better the next year.  We ended the regular season with a pretty long string of wins.  We received the two seed and home court advantage in our Sub-Section, the top seed went to the Le Sueur Giants, who pulled off a 3-point win against us in early January. 

Round one match up was against the Belle Plaine Tigers.  We beat them in the regular season by a decent amount but we knew we couldn’t over look them.  Even though we had a 23-0 lead, we definitely weren’t playing defense which came back to haunt us once BP started hitting their shots.  Our season almost ended that night.  They had a chance to tie it up to send it into overtime but our D pulled through giving us the 65-63 win.  It was the first playoff win for STP in seven years.  Round two was against the Jordan Jaguars.  I was hurt when we played them earlier in the year, but we still beat them by 40.  We knew they wanted revenge for that game, but we weren’t going to let them have it.  Jordan tried to slow down the game to limit our possessions and scoring opportunities, but we still managed to get the 20-point W. 
The Sub-Section Championship was held at Brensan Area at MSU in Mankato.  Our opponent: the 1 seed Le Sueur Giants.  All the pressure was on the Giants to beat us again, but we believed we were the better team and it was our time to win.  The first half was back and forth and we had the lead going into half time.  I didn’t have a great first half and was held to only a handful of points.  I knew the second half I needed to step it up.  Early in the second half, I nailed a 3 with a defender in my face and I knew things were going to get rolling.  We played extremely well on both ends of the court, and pulled off the W by 20 points.  Personally I thought it was one of my best games of the year.  I finished with 23 points, 8-10 rebounds and a handful of blocks and steals.

The last time St. Peter made it to the Section Championship was around 1997.  Now it was our chance to play for the opportunity to go to state. We were set to play the Blue Earth Area Bucs.  We had won by 2 and loss by 3 to this conference opponent and knew the championship would be just as close.  We started the game down 12-0 but quickly regained the lead with some big shots after making a few adjustments.  At half we had a one-point lead and had our worst offensive half the year.  Both teams came out playing hard.  We would get a double-digit lead but BEA would cut that down and get a lead of their own.  Back and forth the game went.  The crowd was so loud with every play.  It was an amazing atmosphere.  Going down the stretch we were down.  One of the BEA players was on fire, so we called a time out. We made some adjustments and I was assigned to guard their hot shooter. From then on I guarded her and wouldn’t let her even think about getting an open shot.  We were down 3 with about a minute and a half left and I was fouled taking a 3.  My free throws had been so off the last few games but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from tying up the game.  First one: swish.  Second one: rattled around the front of the rim then fell.  Third one: swish.  With each shot I could tell the crowd was holding their breath with me.  The third free throw I made was my 1,000th point of my career.  Along with tying the game up, I reached one of the greatest milestones in high school basketball.  BEA had the ball with about 40 seconds left and the opportunity to win the game.  It was the most important defensive possession of our season.  They put the ball in their best player’s hands, but she came up short on a 15 foot jumper.  Overtime.  Once again it was neck and neck.  The play was so physical.  I was completely exhausted from never coming out of the game.  Two of our starters fouled out.  The game was going to be decided in this overtime if we’d like it or not.  Dani Larson, our defensive player of the year, came up huge with the block of the year.  I threw a lazy pass that was stolen; she chased the girl down, blocked her lay up, and it went off of her out of bounds.  STP ball!  We came down and I scored on a nice spin move in the paint – game tied! We needed a stop and no fouls.  After a missed BEA shot, a scrum for the ball began.  Unfortunately, we were called on a foul that sent them to the line for two.  They made one of the two free throws with 8.8 seconds left, putting Blue Earth ahead by one.  We called a time out and set up our play “special”.  We were going to look long but if that wasn’t there, the ball was in my hands.  BEA lined up to guard us at half court.  I got the ball with the goal in my mind to get to the rim.  No one really picked me up to stop me and I got a great look from right outside the lane on the left side.  I kissed it off the glass. 2 points.  I looked up at the clock, 2..1.. and started running and jumping towards half court.  53-52 STP.  Our student section fled on to the court and we were all mobbed.  Before we lined up to be handed the 2nd and 1st place awards, I was awarded for my 1,000 point.  We cut down the net, took plenty of pictures, and then celebrated our lone senior’s birthday, Jenny Wilking, with some cake!
Everyone was flying cloud nine.  We were going to state!  The state experience was great.  We had an all school pep fest Tuesday morning, had practice, and went around to the elementary schools to celebrate with the kids while riding in style in a limo.  We headed up to Minneapolis for the banquet that night and stayed over for our game on Wednesday.  Although the game didn’t turn out how we wanted, we had made such a great journey.  Katy Kuiper and I went to the rest of the games at that weekend.  The first few we weren’t happy that we were in the stands but that feeling just makes us want it even more.  Now having that bad taste in our mouth from being one and done, we’re all back to work.  In the last few years, I have been the only player from St. Peter playing AAU basketball, but this summer 5 other girls are joining teams also.  I’ve had two practices so far with Coach Borowicz and the Minnesota Star’s team.  We’re all excited for this summer season.  We have some really good talent and athleticism, plus we get along great!

I’ll never forget this season.  We grew so much as a team, which made our friendships grow.  We had some of the best fans in the state supporting us each game.  St. Peter basketball is back on the map.



"Katy Kuiper hit 2 HUGE free throws with 10.0 seconds left."

One of the most memorable things from this season has to be the crazy weather we’ve had. We’re far into the month of February and we still have six games left! And three of those games are make ups due to Mother Nature. After beating up on Jordan, the girls took on the Sleepy Eye Indians at Gustavus Adolphus College. The night was dedicated to Coaches Against Cancer. One of my teammates was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma back in July. To let Katrina know we were fighting with her, we all wear a lime green shoelace. Katrina went through chemotherapy and had been working towards her return to the court. While we were battling in the second half against Sleepy Eye, coach put Katrina in the game. We were all so excited; the crowd stood up and cheered. The game wasn’t a pretty one but we came out with the W and so happy to see Kate back in action!

On January 29 in a huge conference game against Fairmont, I twisted my ankle pretty badly. I wanted to make my return from my sprained ankle the night after Sleepy Eye against Blue Earth on February 5. I knew once I woke up that morning that it wasn’t happening. I wanted redemption from the lost to them earlier in the season, but I had confidence in the girls that they could make it happen without me. If we could win this game, we would still have a slight chance of winning the conference title! We were slow out of the gates but eventually caught up to make it a close game at half. I was doing everything I could from the sideline. I took my role of leadership and used it to coaching our guards: giving them pointers to how to beat the press or how to avoid the traps. It definitely paid off in the end! Katy Kuiper hit 2 HUGE free throws with 10.0 seconds left that put us up by two. Blue Earth actually had a pretty open look from the right block but missed. Jenny Wilking, our senior guard, came down with the rebound. GAME OVER! I went running and jumping onto the court! (I couldn’t feel my ankle at all, ha!) The game was full of playoff intensity. Definitely one of our high moments of the season, because we hadn’t beaten Blue Earth for nine years!

I made my return the following Friday at home against Waseca. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous and excited for a game in my life! We started out pretty flat, I came off the bench a few minutes into the game, down 6-0. The ball was reversed to my side of the court, my first touch on the ball I took a three… SWISH. The game turned around right then. It was a close game at half. We needed to box out and control the rebounds against Waseca’s big front line. We made those adjustments and put up 51 points in the second half alone to win 82-57! I finished with 29 points. It was a great feeling to be able to come back and have such an impact on the game.

I wish I could say the same thing for the game last night against Jackson County Central. To make a long story short, they came ready to play and we didn’t. It was our first blow out loss of the season. We’re a young team and we’re ready to learn from all the mistakes we made and how aggressive JCC was against us. Our next game is against Waseca on Tuesday night. It’s a make up game! Our second game of the year that we lost to New Ulm might come back to haunt us in this tight conference race. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for someone to knock off someone!



"We had the opportunity to play at the Target Center against Mahtomedi."

About eight minutes into a tough conference game against Fairmont Friday night, I had a back door cut and was given an awesome pass which led to a lay up and two points.  We took the lead with that two, 14-12.  Coming down from that shot, I landed on my defenders foot and was done for the game.  Our girls put up one tough fight for the rest of the game but only having six players and myself out on the bench, we couldn’t pull off the W.  It was a good learning experience for the girls having to take on such a strong opponent without me in there.  I got my ankle checked out this Saturday at Gustavus and the prognosis is pretty positive.  I’m going in for treatment each day plus a lot of icing should get me back by the end of this week or early next week.

January has been a month of many ups and downs.  Our first game back from break was against the undefeated Maple River Eagles.  We didn’t play our pace which really hurt us in the end.  The Eagles were able to slow down the game dramatically and we couldn’t make a come back.  We were supposed to play conference opponent Waseca two days after, but the bad weather here in southern Minnesota caused another postponed game.  Next game was against rival Le Sueur Henderson.  It’s kind of like the Lakeville North and South rivalry for a comparison.  We had a lead the entire first half but the start of the second, we let them go on a 14-0 run.  The most we were down by was 17.  That second half LSH could not miss a shot.  We made a great run to cut the lead.  I drained a 3 with 8 seconds left to put us down by 2 if I remember correctly.  We fouled them with 3.5 seconds left and they made 1 of 2 free throws.  Down by 3.  Our senior guard, Jenny Wilking, threw up a half court shot; rim, backboard, rim… no good.  Almost making that buzzer beater was a real heart breaker.

Not including Friday night, that was the end of the “downers” of the month!  The same week after losing to LSH we dominated conference opponent St. James.  We were firing in all cylinders.  It was 6-0 before STJ got the ball on their half of the court.  I had 3 steals, 2 assists, and 2 points in that little run. Whoa!  I missed one shot that game and it was a lay up!  4-4 on 3 point field goals.  I was definitely feeling it!  Everything was working for our team.  Our next game was conference once again vs. New Ulm.  We were out on a hunt for the Eagles!  I wasn’t completely happy with my performance, but we did what we needed to do in order for us to be victorious. Many girls stepped up to the plate.  The following Saturday we had the opportunity to play at the Target Center against Mahtomedi.  We had such a great experience playing there.  I was imaging all the great players that have played there, especially the previous night my favorite baller Chris Paul was there. (haha)  A few of my AAU teammates made the trip to come support me!  That was a great surprise.  Also, I had about 20 other family members that came.  I was so glad they came to a great game.  I sure hope we’ll be back playing there in March! Once again Mother Nature thought we should be in a blizzard warning and our game against New Ulm Cathedral was postponed.

Last night we took on the Jordan Jaguars.  It was a quite feeling walking into the gym on crutches and getting surprised looks from our opponent.  The girls played amazing.  Our sophomore guard, Katy Kuiper, had the game of her life with 32 points leading us to a 63-23 victory.  I’m so proud of her!  All the girls stepped up and played their hearts out.  Our next game is Thursday against Sleepy Eye. It’s almost more painful sitting on the sideline!  I can’t wait to get healthy.  I hope everyone else can stay injury free!



"The rest of break I’m planning on being a complete gym rat."

The following week was quite interesting. Tuesday we were to make the trip to Glencoe Silver Lake, but because of the blizzard watch, the game was postponed. Wednesday we ended up having a snow day! It was a great break for us, but we had a huge game coming up on Friday. The GSL game was rescheduled for Thursday night. I was pretty worried about the back-to-back game days, but we got a quick lead and were able to get subs in to rest up for the next night. I absolutely shot terrible against GSL (50% from the line, OUCH) and didn’t have the best game. That sure changed against Fairmont. We haven’t beaten this conference opponent since 2003. Talk about a losing streak. We were so hyped to play. It was our first home game of the season; the adrenaline and intensity was high. I’m pretty positive we didn’t trail them once the score reached 6-4. It was our night for redemption and we sure shined. A twelve-point win over a team that had two losses last year and almost went to state was huge! It’s easily in my book for an all time great game.

December 15 we hosted Belle Plaine for parent’s night. They lost some great players to graduation last year, which helped us get a relaxed win. I sure enjoyed it. I wish I could forget about that Friday night against Blue Earth, but it’s there for me to learn from. Before this game I was averaging about 24 points a game and believed in myself that I could continue the hot streak. Let me tell you, that did not happen. Blue Earth completely took me out of our offense and I was also in foul trouble. We were in control most of the game but couldn’t hold on. Too many mistakes from the 3-minute mark and on gave Blue Earth the game. They hit a 3 with 6 seconds left. Game over.

The following Tuesday we had a nice win against Lake Crystal Welcome Memorial, but once again I didn’t really get into the offense. Hopefully, some practice and working on my shot will clear that up. I’m averaging about 21 points and 9 rebounds a game along with a few assists, steals, and blocked shots. I’m content with my performance at this point, but I know I can improve a great deal. January 5th is the next test against Maple River, another big game for us.

Sadly we don’t have a holiday tournament, which I’m bummed out about, but it allows me to get some other activities in. The band, including about half of our team, is in California playing at the Holiday Bowl, which is the reason for no tourney. Being home with the enormous amount of snow, I’m getting plenty of shoveling and sledding in! Tomorrow I’m off to South Dakota State University for another unofficial visit to meet with the coaches, hang with the team, and watch them take on UNI. It should be a good trip. The rest of break I’m planning on being a complete gym rat and hanging out with friends. I hope everyone is having a safe and great family filled Christmas and break. I can’t wait to get playing again.


"Most importantly, I love basketball."

Hey there. Most of you reading this have probably haven’t even heard of me yet so I’ll give you a little back ground of myself! I’m currently a junior at St. Peter High School, which is about 10 minutes north of Mankato. We’re apart of the South Central Conference. We’ve recently moved down to class 2A this year. My school has always been borderline 2A or 3A. Since we’ve dropped down this year I’m especially pumped for the season! The last two years have been somewhat rocky. My freshman year was tough but a great learning experience. Last season was a huge improvement! We hired a new coach, Cyndi Raymond, and along with her we gained her daughter who’s a good inside player. We ended up right around .500 for the season and are looking to improve even more this year. We’ve gained some experience since last year but we’re still fairly young. We returned all but one of our starters. I love talking about basketball; HS, college, 4th graders, it doesn’t matter to me, I love it! Anyway, that was an attempt at a transition into a different topic otherwise I would have a short story published on just my life including basketball.

My family! I have one loving brother, Thomas. He’s a sophomore. My mom, Dawn, is a HS principal at a nearby school. My dad, Tom, coached college football for the past 17 years and now is the Assistant Athletic Director at Gustavus. I’m usually too busy to watch TV but I love SportsCenter, CSI, Law and Order, and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I love watching movies, suspense, action, sports, and scary ones are the best. I’m usually found playing ball, sleeping, or hanging with my awesome friends. Most importantly, I love basketball. I’ve been playing since 4th grade and found my love for it instantly. It’s tough growing up in a smaller community because for starters, I didn’t even know AAU existed until 7th grade. Now, I’m playing for Coach B and the top Minnesota Stars team! It’s quite crazy how things work out in life. Anyway, we’ve had some superstars go through St. Peter like Megan Vogel who played at SDSU and made it to the WNBA, but otherwise our program hasn’t been too strong. But, that is about to change! Last night we had our first game this season at USC, which we won 64-49. I for sure had some pre-season jitters but got over them fast enough to put up 28 points! It felt great starting with a bang. There is much room for improvement for everyone including myself. Our next game is Friday at New Ulm, huge conference rivalry! I hope this let you in on my life here in St. Peter a bit. It’s going to be a great year.



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