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Lincolnshire - Prep girls basketball: Zion-Benton at Stevenson in battle of superpowers. TT Maggett (left) Zion pressures Kari Moffat. | For Sun-Times Media~Joe Cyganowski
It’s impossible to eat, drink and sleep basketball.
Kari Moffat has tried. A senior on Stevenson’s girls basketball team, Moffat only plays one sport. And she dedicates 12 months a year to her craft.
“She’s just a gym rat,” Patriots coach Tom Dineen said.
Moffat makes no apologies for her approach.
“Ever since I started training in basketball when I was young, I’ve loved the competitiveness of the game,” said Moffat, a four-year varsity starter. “Any time I have a chance to get better, I’m in the gym working hard.”
The 5-foot-5 point guard has a plan whenever she takes to the practice floor.
“I’ve been working on my shot, and on making good decisions in tight games,” she said. “I always try to make sure I get the ball to the right people.”
Moffat’s pass-first philosophy has Dineen’s approval, but she picked the perfect moment to tally her lone points against Libertyville Friday. With the Patriots nursing a 28-27 lead in the final minute, Moffat stole the ball near midcourt and drove in for a layup to essentially seal a 31-27 victory.
The victory was Dineen’s first over Libertyville since he took over at Stevenson four years ago.
The Patriots’ veterans were aware of that recent losing streak.
“Going into the game, Alex (Elzinga) and I were talking about how we’ve struggled against Libertyville,” Moffatt said. “We came out ready to play.”
Moffat’s tenacity isn’t news to Libertyville point guard Olivia Mayer.
“Kari is a great player,” said Mayer, a 5-5 senior. “We’ve played against each other since the feeder program days.
“I really respect her. ... She never shows her emotions, and she’s always a great sport.”
Dineen rarely has to spend time explaining his wishes to Moffat.
“She knows what I expect,” he said. “She’s grown into a leadership role both on and off the court.” ~.