Heinen coaches’ pick as KVL’s best
League coaches may not consider De Soto the best girls basketball team in the Kaw Valley League, but they agree the Wildcats have the best offensive and defensive players.
Allie Heinen was tabbed the league's preseason offensive player of the year by five of the 10 coaches in the league.
Six coaches participated in the voting, but one declined to cast votes for player of the year.
Lansing coach Kevin Bost liked what Heinen did in the past as far as her inside game, but he said he expected her to stretch her game even more this season.
"She has good size and is tough in the paint," he said. "I expect her to extend her scoring zone to the outside."
Despite not earning a single vote for preseason all-conference honors, Lisa Lambert was labeled the top defensive player in the conference by earning two of the five votes cast.
Heinen and Lindsay Boss of Santa Fe Trail each received a vote, while Nyse Pinks of Bonner Springs and Alexis Pryor of Santa Fe Trail split a vote.
De Soto coach Dwight Spencer described Lambert as a real scrapper who often got others on the team involved in the game because of her defense.
"She's one of our top-two returning players and is an all-league caliber player," Spencer said of the five-foot seven-inch guard. "Lisa is aggressive on defense and often gets others involved because of it. She can also handle the ball and shoots it fairly well."
Heinen, a 6-0 post player who plays all over the court, led the preseason all-league balloting with 33 votes and received mention from all six coaches.
She edged out Bonner Springs' Nyse Pinks (5-5 senior guard), who received 29 tallies, and was the only other player receiving a vote from every participating coach.
Santa Fe Trail's 5-4 junior guard Boss earned 14 points, while Mill Valley's Kendra Corley, a 5-9 junior forward, and Santa Fe Trail's 6-0 junior center Pryor rounded out the first team with 10 and nine points, respectively.
Spencer described Heinen as a do-everything player who also averaged nearly 17 points during the past two years.
"She is our leading scorer and can do it inside and out," he said. "I expect her to up her game even more this year."
Bonner Springs coach Garold Baker said Pinks, who set a school record by scoring 40 points in a game last year, was one of the most athletic kids in theleague this year.
"She is an all-around athlete who jumps and runs the court very well," he said. "She specializes in driving and rebounding."
Bost said Pinks had a lock-down mode on defense and disrupts the passing game.
"She is very quick," he said.
Boss was described as an incredible athlete by her coach Brenda Dahl, who can't wait to see her play this year.
"She goes forever, non-stop, and works her tail off," Dahl said. "Lindsay can also shoot the three-pointer and gets in people's shorts on defense."
Pryor is Santa Fe Trail's inside force, according to Dahl. The coach also expects her to wreak havoc on opposing defenses as she has a knack to find holes in them. Dahl added that Pryor was ready to come into her own for the Chargers this year.
Making the second team were Nicole Parent of Lansing, Addie Heim of Tonganoxie, Alex Jeannin of Basehor-Linwood, Chase Crouch of Bonner Springs, and Kelli Craig of Lansing.
Those receiving honorable mention were Haley Wilson and Tonya Gimzo of Perry-Lecompton, Jessica Velazquez of Mill Valley, Lisa Lambert of De Soto, Ashley Sanders of Piper, and Emily Vosseler of Immaculata.
On the strength of two first-team members, Santa Fe Trail earned three first-place votes from the coaches and finished with 57 total points in the coaches' preseason prediction.
De Soto was a close second after nabbing two first-place votes and 50 points from the six coaches.
All-Kaw Valley League
Allie Heinen De Soto
Nyse Pinks Bonner Springs Lindsay Boss Santa Fe Trail
Kendra Corley Mill Valley
Alexis Pryor Santa Fe Trail
Preseason team projections
1. Santa Fe Trail (3) 57
2. De Soto (2) 50
3. Bonner Springs (1) 42
3. Tonganoxie 42
5. Immaculata 32
6. Lansing 30.5
7. Basehor-Linwood 28
8. Mill Valley 25.5
9. Piper 15
10. Perry-Lecompton 8