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Industrial sophomore leads team to 50-38 victory over Ganado (GALLERY, VIDEO)

By Julie Garcia
Nov. 19, 2013 at 5:19 a.m.
Updated Nov. 20, 2013 at 5:20 a.m.

Industrial's Kelsey Van Pelt goes up for a shot against an attempted block from Ganado's Desirea Vasquez during the first quarter of Tuesday's game at Ganado High School. The Cobras defeated the Maidens, 50-38.

GANADO - Industrial sophomore Kelsey Van Pelt is a certifiable gym rat, according to her coach Brandon Karl.

"She's (at the gym) after practice, before practice; she's up there on weekends," Karl said after the Cobras defeated the Ganado Maidens 50-38 on Tuesday night. "She's just a person that loves the game - that's something you can't coach."

Van Pelt was the top scorer for Industrial (3-0) on Tuesday night, scoring 18 points and two 3-pointers.

"I don't really have much of a life during basketball season - it's the gym," Van Pelt, who is in her second year on varsity, said. "I like to work on a lot of ball handling and just work on all aspects of my game."

Though her friends may be busy on the weekends, Van Pelt makes sure to allot time for solo practice.

"I realize what I did in this game and didn't like what I did in that game and come up with a few drills to fix the aspects of my game that I feel weren't great," she said.

Van Pelt's level of dedication is unique, Karl said.

"She's got some ability, and she puts in more work than probably anybody I've ever been around," Karl said. "Everything she gets, she's deserving of."

Coming into her second season, Van Pelt feels like she has adjusted to the pace of the game.

"It helped me get used to the pace of the game. Coming from eighth-grade basketball to varsity has been a big transition," she said about playing as a freshman. "I feel like me and my teammates that are sophomores - we've adjusted to the speed of the game, and we're used to it now. We've become leaders on the team and help everybody out and feed off each other."

Another major transition for Van Pelt has been going from varsity volleyball to varsity basketball in the matter of a week.

Industrial's volleyball team went to the first round of playoffs for District 30-2A.

"Our coaches make sure we're in shape for basketball season," Van Pelt said. "We're ready to transition between a more quickness game to an up-and-down endurance game as well."

In the Cobras' third win of the season, Karl said the team is still working through kinks in a new game strategy.

"We're trying to keep it fast; it's something we've never done," Karl said. "When we're doing it right, running around and flying around, we look good. Then there's times when we lose focus and get out of control."

With 11 members on his squad, Karl appreciates the team depth and is willing to put more girls on the court.

Jessica Martin scored 10 points and one 3-pointer while Skylar Chreene scored nine points and a 3-pointer. Morgan Gabrysch scored six points.

"Overall, we're more athletic this year than we were last year. We're trying to take advantage of that," he said. "As long as we figure it out in the next month, I feel confident about what we've got to look forward to this year."

Ganado coach Bryan Branch was not pleased with his team's overall performance. Despite having a 14-12 lead in the first quarter, the Maidens were outscored by the Cobras by more than five points in each of the next two quarters.

The teams both scored eight points in the final quarter of the game.

"I was disappointed tonight with our rebounding; they outrebounded us and outhustled us," Branch said. "Between turnovers and rebounds, we didn't stand a chance to win."

Branch doesn't attribute the Maidens' (1-1) loss to rustiness.

"There are things we have to do better," he said. "It's an effort issue in going for the ball. It's remembering to block out and remembering to go for the ball - we have to change the mindset of how we play basketball."

Ganado senior Ashley Bridges led the team with 15 points, followed by Taylor Mirelez with nine points. Desirea Vasquez scored six points, and Sierra Salazar scored three points.

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