High school girls basketball insider: Hampshire's Kelby Bannerman is athlete of the week

Hampshire's Kelby Bannerman celebrates the Whip-Purs' win against McHenry in a Fox Valley Conference girls basketball game Nov. 27.
Hampshire's Kelby Bannerman celebrates the Whip-Purs' win against McHenry in a Fox Valley Conference girls basketball game Nov. 27.

Athlete of the Week

Kelby Bannerman, Hampshire, so., F

Bannerman poured in a game-high 23 points and was named team MVP for the Whip-Purs in a 57-51 win against Carmel in the Chicagoland Showcase at Fremd High School. Hampshire has won six games in a row since a 1-2 start.

Bannerman added a team-high 14 points in a 36-31 win over Crystal Lake South and again led the team with 13 points and six rebounds in a 48-25 win against Jacobs.

Northwest Herald Power Rankings

1. Dundee-Crown (4-2): The Chargers played one game last week, a 52-31 win over Prairie Ridge. D-C, which is 2-0 in the FVC, was led by Alyssa Crenshaw with 16 points and Payton Schmidt with 15.

2. Hampshire (7-2): The Whips have won six straight, going 3-0 last week with wins against Carmel, Crystal Lake South and Jacobs. They are 3-0 in the FVC.

3. McHenry (6-2): The Warriors bounced back from an FVC-opening loss to Hampshire with wins over Jacobs, 57-31, and Huntley, 60-40. Izzy Gscheidle had 23 points and 11 rebounds against Huntley, and Katie Beyer tossed in 19. Beyer also had 21 points against Jacobs.

4. Crystal Lake Central (5-1): The Tigers have won four in a row and are 2-0 in the FVC, beating Jacobs and Prairie Ridge. Point guard Cori Hamill had 12 points and eight assists against the Wolves.

5. Marengo (5-3): The Indians lost to St. Viator, 68-48, and defeated Woodstock North, 49-35. Marengo, which is 2-0 in the Kishwaukee River Conference, was led in scoring both games by Marissa Knobloch, who had 38 points combined.

Worth noting

Not a finished product: After going from zero conference wins to seven last season, Crystal Lake Central is hoping to make an even bigger jump in the FVC this year. Third-year coach Derek Crabill is optimistic in his team's 5-1 start, but knows there is a lot of work to be done.

"We're not a finished product by any stretch of the imagination," Crabill said. "Whether you look at game film or at stats, that's glaringly obvious. But we're making improvements every day. To go back to my college coach, Jon Davison at Clarke University (in Dubuque, Iowa), his quote to us every day was, 'You either get better or you get worse, you never stay the same.'

"I heard that every day for five years, and I tried to pass that on to these guys in everything that they do. As long as we get better every day, we're going to be happy with the results at the end."

Looking for confidence: Prairie Ridge has lost five straight games after a 3-0 start, including FVC losses to Crystal Lake South, D-C and Crystal Lake Central. Wolves first-year coach Tim Taege believes his team has the talent to turn things around.

"It's a long season," Taege said. "We can sit around and feel bad for ourselves or show up on Friday (against McHenry), because it doesn't get any easier. It's a strong conference, so we have to show up and compete.

"We as a coaching staff know what they're capable of, and they've seen glimpses of it. We're trying to feed them that confidence, but they're not playing with it."

What to watch

Crystal Lake Central at Hampshire, 7 p.m. Friday: The Tigers and Whips are undefeated in FVC play thus far. The teams split their conference series last year.

Marengo at Burlington Central, 7 p.m. Friday: Both the Indians and Rockets are 2-0 in the KRC.

McHenry at Dundee-Crown, 7 p.m. Tuesday: The Chargers handed McHenry its only loss in conference play last year.

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