If a basketball is snapping the nets from long range in northern Iowa, there is a good chance it just left the hands of Kelsey Gerhart.
Gerhart, a senior on the North Sentral Kossuth/ Armstrong-Ringsted cagers lineup, has proven to be one of the better players in the area over the past several seasons in prep sports.
Basketball is her favorite and it shows.
LOOKING UPCOURT — North Sentral Kossuth/Armstrong-Ringsted senior Kelsey Gerhart looks for an open teammate while dribbling up the court at Sentral School during regular-season basketball action. Gerhart represents one of the area’s top outside shooting threats in the prep ranks. (Kimberly Cossairt)
"My family's been playing it the most," she said.
Gerhart has played volleyball and basketball, and run track and field for four seasons at the varsity level, in addition to playing softball as a freshman.
Gerhart is a two-time Sentinel All-Area basketball choice and earned a spot on the All-Area volleyball lineup this fall.
Gerhart averaged 11.0 points per game as a sophomore, while dishing out 59 assists and pulling down 63 rebounds in helping the North Sentral Kossuth Eagles to their first trip to the Iowa Class 1A state tournament.
"Making it to state sophomore year - Playing down at Wells Fargo (Arena in Des Moines) was awesome," Gerhart said on her favorite career moment.
The Eagles had a tough time getting that far, but managed to make it happen.
"We were sure hoping for it (going to state that season). In the sub-state game, we were down 21 points. We knew what we had to do and we did it," she said on the team's classic comeback.
Last season, Gerhart scored 473 points, while adding 113 rebounds, 122 assists and 59 steals in assisting the Eagles to the region semifinals.
This is the first season for the Eagles to be paired with Armstrong-Ringsted.
"It was different, obviously, combining two schools. We're all good friends now," she said.
"We usually have four or five girls who can score points," Gerhart said about this season's lineup.
The Eagles had won seven of nine games this season going into the holiday break, with those losses coming at the hands of Class 2A, No. 2-ranked Estherville-Lincoln Central and Class 1A, No. 9-ranked Newell-Fonda.
"Pretty much playing the best I can, doing the most for my team. I'm trying to be a leader, by example, as a senior," Gerhart said on her goals for the season.
Gerhart lists the Eagles' win over Graettinger/Terril earlier this season as her best game of the year, when she scored a thus far season-high 23 points. She tallied a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds two games later against Clay-Central Everly.
Gerhart notes her offense as her strength on the court and she is currently shooting better than 30 percent on 3-pointers.
"I visualize myself making shots at different areas of the court," she said on pre-game rituals.
"I look forward to playing everybody," she said when asked who is her favorite team to play against.
"Shooting off the dribble. I'm a little rocky on that part. And I'm still working on free throws," she noted on what areas she'd like to improve.
So far, she leads the team at the line, making 28 of 34 free throws.
Gerhart said she'd also like to break 1,000 career points this season.
"I don't know if I'll do it. I know I'm over 900 points - and getting far in the state tournament in (Class 2A) this year," she said on other goals.
Gerhart is undecided on where to attend college next fall. She plans to major in nursing and minor in Spanish. She has no intention of playing sports at the next level.
"The colleges I'm looking at, you have to be very committed to (academics)," she said.