Kee girls basketball team returns experienced nucleus for new head coach Lisa Steckel in collection of five returning letterwinners for 2017-2018

2017-2018 Kee girls basketball returning letterwinners ... Left to right: Nicki Wood, Chloe Severson, Kendra Cooper, Ashley Schwartzhoff, Makayla Walleser. Photo courtesy of the Kee High School Yearbook.

The Kee girls basketball team will have a somewhat new face leading a much more familiar line-up in an effort to return at least to what has become a very familiar spot for the program in the past three seasons. First-year head coach Lisa Steckel will benefit from a crew of five returning letterwinners that consist of a vast majority of the Hawks’ statistical leadership from last winter’s 17-5 campaign, all hoping to make their way back to continued recent postseason success that has seen Kee play its way to the brink of State Tournament qualification, surpassing that brink with a first-ever State Tournament berth two seasons ago but coming up a combined six points shy of that goal on each side of that history-making effort, including a one-point loss in last season’s regional finals to Janesville.

The Hawks’ 10-3 record in Upper Iowa Conference (UIC) play last season placed them third in the final UIC standings behind the only two league teams to beat them last winter, Class 2A Clayton Ridge and two-time Class 1A State Tournament Runner-Up Turkey Valley. With both of those squads suffering heavy graduation losses from last season’s starting line-up - so much so that Turkey Valley did not even make the pre-season top-15 rankings in that IGHSAU poll, the trail to the top of that UIC mountain looks to be there for the Lady Hawks to climb.

That UIC journey will begin Tuesday, November 28 at Central Elkader, but the Hawks were first schedule to play a non-conference season-opener at Waukon Tuesday, November 21. Kee is then slated to play at Starmont Friday, December 1 and then at Class 3A top-rated Crestwood Monday, December 4.

A December 5 home game with Postville is listed as a JV game only, as Postville struggles to field a girls basketball squad this season, but after a fifth consecutive road game Friday, December 8, the varsity Lady Hawks are slated to make their home debut December 12 against Turkey Valley.

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