KANKAKEE VALLEY

Scouting the 2013-14 Kankakee Valley Kougars girls basketball team

2013-11-09T00:00:00Z Scouting the 2013-14 Kankakee Valley Kougars girls basketball team nwitimes.com
November 09, 2013 12:00 am

Last year: 16-5, 4-2 (NCC)

Team breakdown

The Kougars definitely feel like they have some unfinished business heading into the season after an upset in the first round of the sectional to county rival Rensselaer. K.V. has all the ingredients to make a significant tournament run, returning five starters and with five seniors on the roster. “Two of them have started for three years, and Lauren Stokes, this will be her fourth year for starting varsity,” coach Ryan Myers said. “We’ve got quite of bit of experience coming back, and kids that have been in the program now and understand what we’re running. Now, it’s more of a fine tuning, which normally we’re not that far at this point of the season.” Stokes, Bethany Jansma and Ashley Norberg all averaged in double figures last year, while Danielle Ruesken averaged 8.3 ppg and grabbed 5.9 rebounds per game. Myers said the seniors have taken ownership of the team and know it’s their last chance to do something in the conference and state tournament. “Since the conference started, we have not won conference,” he said. “That’s one of the goals this year. We’re really trying to play well against conference teams and hopefully get lucky and maybe win that thing.”  — Christopher Breach

Last season finish

Lost in Class 3A Hanover Central sectional opener to Rensselaer

Leading returning scorer

Lauren Stokes, 12 ppg.

Leading returning rebounder

Ashley Norberg, 7 rpg.

Star power

Lauren Stokes, Sr., G. Stokes returns for her fourth year as a starter for the Kougars, and she led the team in scoring and steals and was second in assists last season. “She’s a three-sport athlete and definitely a girl that we’re going to rely heavily on this year,” Myers said.

Newcomer to watch

Breanna Toppen, So., G. Toppen began to assert herself in the second half of the season last year and put in a lot of work in the summer to elevate her game. She averaged 5.7 ppg a year ago and could have a breakout season.

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