2012-13 Dispatch/Argus Area Girls' Basketball Player of the Year: Annawan's Celina VanHyfte

Posted Online: March 09, 2013, 11:20 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
By Terry Duckett, tduckett@qconline.com
After last year's Elite Eight heartbreak suffered by Annawan, Celina VanHyfte was determined that she and her girls' basketball teammates would settle for nothing less than state this season.

Powered by the repeat winner of The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus Area Girls' Basketball Player of the Year award, the Bravettes achieved that breakthrough. Going 30-3 to match last year's single-season victory record, and with their 6-foot junior center breaking her own school mark by scoring 736 points, Annawan's third-place Class 1A finish in Normal has the bar raised higher.

"Our goal was to get to state this year," said VanHyfte, who also stands at 1,849 career points, just over 350 away from Annawan's all-time career leader, Kelly Buresh (2,205 points). "I'm glad the team got it done. A lot of people thought this wouldn't happen after losing three starters (from the 2011-12 season)."

But, still haunted by a severe ankle sprain that hampered her play in the Bravettes' state debut at Redbird Arena, VanHyfte hopes to trade up next winter and cap an already-stellar prep career with a gold medal around her neck.

"There's always next year," she said. "Our team is very confident. It seems like we get better every year, and I hope we can win the whole thing next season. That's our one and only goal -- but if we went undefeated, that'd be a plus."

How did it feel to finally reach state?
"It felt amazing. I felt like both the team's and my personal goal had been accomplished by doing that."

Still haunted by state injury?
"Of course, I regret not getting to be 100 percent at state. I felt like I played at 50 percent, and I feel terrible about it. I felt like I could have done even more to help."

How does it feel to be a part of Annawan history?
"Amazing. The way our fans, and the entire community, supported us the whole way through, I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe how practically the whole town turned out for our games. Our fans mean everything to us, and it's great that we were able to do this for them."

Thoughts on approaching 2,000 points?
"My real goal is having the chance to break my mom's record (Val Wancket-VanHyfte scored 2,644 at now-defunct Atkinson from 1983-87). But if not for her, my coaches and teammates, I wouldn't be where I am. I consider myself lucky to be in this position. I'm very thankful to my mom for realizing my potential, and getting me ready to play in high school."

Best memory of this season?
"It was an amazing experience to get to play with my junior class again, and also with my younger sister, (freshman guard) Morgan. It's great to know we've have that next year, along with my friends the Davis twins both joining us."


Local events heading

  Today is Saturday, Aug. 2, the 214th day of 2014. There are 151 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Because of the National Fast, no paper will be issued from this office tomorrow.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Attracting considerable attention is a sunflower stalk 15 feet high and still growing in the yard of Dr. C. Speidel on 23rd Street in Rock Island.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The municipal bathing beach proposition came up again at the city commission's meeting and a proposition passed, provided that a locker room be constructed at the foot of 7th Street for the accommodation of the bathers.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans for erecting a $14,000 warehouse to replace the frame structure at the rear of the Augustana Book Concern were announced.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Hours for tours of the new Deere & Co. Administrative Center on John Deere Road will be changed, effective Monday.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Tuesday night at the Great Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band gave its fans more than they possibly could have expected. The band took the stage at 9:07 p.m. and didn't leave until 10:40.

(More History)