Chips’ Kelley, Dorn named first team all-Lakes 8

The Manistee girls basketball team had a mix of both youth and experience this year, but with the way the unit worked as one it was hard to tell the difference.

Two Chippewas in particular, however, stood out over the course of the season, catching the attention of Lakes 8 Conference coaches along the way.

And for their efforts, Manistee senior Erin Dorn and junior Lyndsey Kelley were recently named first-team all-conference selections.

“It is so neat that the conference coaches all appreciated the impact these two players had on our team and in the conference,” said Manistee coach Kenn Kott. “We finished third overall and these girls definitely earned their place on the team.”

The Chippewas’ season was one of streaks, in both directions. After a 1-3 start, Manistee hit its stride and rattled off five straight wins from late December to early January. The win streak, however, was followed by a four-game skid, and then the Chippewas finished the season on a pendulum too: three straight wins and four straight losses, including a district semifinal defeat at the hands of Benzie Central.

When the dust settled, Manistee finished 9-11 overall with a 6-4 record in Lakes 8 Conference play, finishing third of six teams in the final standings, behind Western Michigan Christian (17-4, 9-1 Lakes 8) and rival Ludington (13-9, 9-1 Lakes 8).

Dorn, a senior captain, was in her fourth year on the varsity squad. The most experienced Chippewa on the roster averaged nine points, 4.6 steals, four rebounds and 2.7 assists per game against Lakes 8 competition.

“Erin has been doing what Erin does for us for four years now, and sometimes it’s hard to find a player that does so many things well every game,” Kott said. “But probably the biggest thing she always gave us was energy and effort. And with Erin, it became contagious. To be the main ball-handler, plus guarding the opposing team’s top player and still have something left in the tank at the end is amazing.

“Erin also worked hard on her scoring this year, especially with missing summer ball due to injury recovery,” Kott added. “She had to catch up fast this winter and fast she did. Plus, we had some younger players who she took under her wing to bring them along as well.

“Leadership, determination and giving 150 percent every game is her trademark. This is a great honor for her and a fantastic finish to a great career.”

While Dorn headed Manistee’s backcourt, Kelley was the team’s go-to player in the post.

The junior led the Chippewas in scoring overall this season, with a 12 points per game average in conference play to go with 6.7 rebounds and a 70 percent success rate at the free throw line.

“Lyndsey is not what you would call your typical post player,” Kott explained. “She is not 6 feet tall, yet was expected to score and defend like a player that was. However, with crafty moves and positioning, she has learned to score with the best of them inside. Left or right hand, it didn’t matter.

“The other thing she improved on was her free throw shooting, especially since she was fouled quite a bit underneath.”

Kott added that Kelley’s skill set isn’t limited to the paint.

“Lyndsey was our go-to player many times this year, and many people don’t realize she also has a nice 10-15 foot jump shot,” he said. “Now she’ll be in the gym in the off-season to expand on her game as we work her shooting range even more to the outside. Another player driven for success.”

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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