Female Area Athlete of Week: Inside and outside Gravelle makes opponents pay
Versatility is the name of the game for Wadena-Deer Creek’s Kennedy Gravelle.
The senior and Northern State volleyball commit has been getting it done on the hardwood. She scored 25 points against Bagley and 21 points against Verndale -- both lopsided wins for the Wolverines.
In the third game of the week against section rival Frazee, Gravelle notched 13 points in a 44-43 loss.
“My teammates help me get open and they see me when I am open,” Gravelle said. “Being able to play more than one position really helps to be a better offensive threat.”
Gravelle is able to score because she can play outside and inside. Her inside game has grown as she has gotten older and now she feels comfortable in the low post as well as beyond the 3-point line.
“I have worked on my outside shot a lot in the offseason,” Gravelle said. “I have confidence going into games that I can make those shots when they are available. It really depends on who guards me.”
W-DC head coach Jordan Cresap said the outside shot really got Gravelle going last week.
“She hit her first few and the bucket just kept getting bigger and bigger,” Cresap said. “I think just a couple of strong starts to our games help her with the big scoring outputs.”
Cresap loves Gravelle’s versatility. He can create lineups to help the Wolverines have success because she can play in different spots.
“We have all these different matchups and it’s super nice to have someone like her who can do it all,” Cresap said.
Cresap said Gravelle was mostly a guard growing up and developed a post-game within the last year.
Gravelle said if a bigger player is guarding her she will go outside. If it is a small player on her she will go in the post.
“My outside shooting might be where I am most confident,” Gravelle said. “But I have confidence that I can do it in the post as well.”
Gravelle excels at volleyball where she will play at Northern State next fall. Many of her W-DC teammates on the volleyball team also play basketball, including Madison Cartsen, who has turned into Gravelle’s second option on the court.
“Having other offensive threats really helps because the defense has to focus on them as well,” Gravelle said. “It opens both of us up and it makes the other team struggle to know who to guard. We all have very good chemistry.”
Cresap notices Gravelle’s leadership skills and her work toward build the team chemistry.
The team chemistry from volleyball to basketball is something Cresap thinks helps the girls, because they are together throughout the year.
“They trust each other and they do things together off the court,” Cresap said. “You can see the trust that has been built.”
She will miss playing basketball and is really trying to soak up her last season.
“It really has not hit me yet that I won’t be playing the sport of basketball anymore,” Gravelle said. “Even as we reach the second half of the season it still has not hit me yet. I have to keep reminding myself that I have to cherish every game and give it my all every game.”
For Cresap, Gravelle’s biggest asset to the team is the fact she can do a little bit of everything for them.
“Her ability to be coachable and listen and take things we say and not take it personally and doing what’s best for the team,” Cresap said. “She never complains and her versatility is something we cannot replace.”
School: Wadena-Deer Creek
Highlights: Averaged 20 points per game in three games last week.