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Rising Star: Halstead senior Karenna Gerber hoping to lead talented team back to State

Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 11:33 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - A month into the high school basketball season, at 7-0 Halstead girls are ranked second in Class 3A. The Dragons made it to the state tournament for the first time in program history last season, but COVID-19 ended their chance of bringing home a title.

This season, Halstead returns a lot of talent, including one of the state’s top players in senior Karenna Gerber.

“It was a roller coaster of emotions, we didn’t know that it was ending so fast so it went from the highest of high feelings and then completely dropped,” Gerber said. “It was probably one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced.”

It’s a feeling that now serves as motivation for the 6-foot junior, whose average of 20 points a game last year helped lead the Dragons to school history.

“It brought us back with a chip on our shoulder, like let’s do that again you know,” she said.

“We got to go through the excitement and the heartache all at the same time last year.” Halstead Head Coach Derek Schutte said. “The team has responded really well. They want to get back there, and Karenna drives that. She’s our leader on the floor, she talks the most and she’s our loudest player.”

In her senior debut, she dropped 30 points to start the season. Through the first seven games, she’s averaging 11 boards and 22 points a night. She’s already well past 1,000 career points, a milestone she reached in her junior season.

“She has gotten better every year and it’s nice to know if we need a basket, we can go inside to her and she can make a play,” Schutte said. “She’s unselfish too and probably could average more but she’s willing to find her teammates when they’re open.”

Next year, she’ll take her talents to Pittsburg State. Schutte said it’s the first time a Halstead girls basketball player has gotten a scholarship at the Division II level.

“Playing college basketball has always been a goal of mine since I picked up a ball,” Gerber said. “My dad played in college, so I wanted to be like him.”For now, she said she’s focused on handling unfinished business. “We’re just seeing how many wins we can get. We want to keep making records and making history.”

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