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Top 5 Female Athletes 2015-16: No. 2, Alli Keyser

Nich Wolak • Updated Jul 27, 2016 at 12:17 AM

The Tribune is counting down its top five teams, male and female athletes of the 2015-16 school year. The No. 2 female athlete on our list, Grand Haven freshman Alli Keyser, utilized her speed and IQ to earn O-K Red All-Conference honors in basketball and soccer.

Basketball

The point guard led Grand Haven with averages of 15.2 points, 3.3 assists and 2.7 steals per game.

Coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer on Keyser: “Obviously, she’s a great athlete. She’s extremely quick, she’s the type of kid you’re going to want to coach. She runs faster with the ball than most without. When I think of Alli, she’s super coachable, she wants to learn. She always wants to be the best she can be. She’s just a really hard worker — she goes hard all the time on both ends of the floor, she’s worked hard on her game. You don’t get that good at basketball without putting the time in.”

On Keyser’s play in close games: “She wants the ball in her hands when the game is on the line. You want kids (like that), some times kids want to hide. She’s confident and she knows what she’s capable of. … Even the Spring Lake game, we were down four or five points with a minute to play, (and) she came up with two crazy steals to keep us in it. She’s a competitor, she wants to win.”

On Keyser’s trajectory going forward: “She makes everybody around her better, I’ve seen that this summer. She’s really taken her game to another level — played a lot of high-level AAU this spring and summer. She’s really quick, she’s worked on her shot, overall game and passing. … She continues to improve. We have her for three more years, and that’s good.

“As a freshman, you’re playing against seniors. That was a big jump. She was all conference in the O-K Red. I don’t think I’ve ever had a player make all-conference as a freshman. She just continues to get better. I haven’t coached her in a super long time, but if you watch her, she’s improved her game. When you play AAU and travel team, you play a lot of other good teams and talent.”

Soccer

Keyser led Grand Haven with 10 goals, adding four assists to share the category lead with Haiden Trowbridge.

Grand Haven soccer coach Jared Kram on Keyser: “She’s advanced in her understanding of the tactics to the game. It’s hard to be a really good striker, knowing when to make a run, where to make a run. … She seems to have a rather innate understanding of how to do those things. Once she receives the ball, her natural athleticism comes into play — she’s one of the fastest girls on the team. In a plain sense, she’s just really hard to catch. … She’s just as fast without the ball, as without.

“Once you find a way to get her the ball, she’s hard to deal with. She’s very calm, cool and collected, she knows what she’s going to do before she gets it. And she’s a calm finisher.”

On whether he was surprised Keyser was able to make such an instant impact: “I was surprised, only because I didn’t know her yet. I had heard a lot of great things from what she was doing with the basketball team, and heard from other people, but I had not seen her play personally until tryouts. Once we had tryouts, there were no questions. She was one of the best players, and (it) proved to be the correct decision throughout the season (to move her up to varsity). It didn’t take me long once I got my eyes on her.”

Best of the Rest

No. 3, Kayla Krueger, Spring Lake

No. 4, Hannah Kenny, Grand Haven

No. 5, Madelyn Nelson, Spring Lake 

 

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