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Castle Rock Girls: Rockets in good shape to compete in Trico

By Joshua Hart, Columbian sports reporter
Published: December 21, 2019, 3:00pm

Brooke Wirkkala averaged just under nine points per game as a freshman. It’s not immediately an eye-popping figure for the 5-foot-7 point guard.

But when you look closer into the stats, you see her ceiling is one few around the Trico League parallel. She dropped 31 points in a 64-60 loss to Seton Catholic last year.

“She has matured physically and athletically,” said coach Kim Karnofski, who rejoined the program last year. She previously coached the Rockets for 14 years. “She’s an amazing kid.”

Wirkkala will guide a new-look Rockets this season, who will be without now-graduated all-league players Megan Keeling and Zoe Naugle.

“We’re not as big physically, but I definitely would say we’re quicker,” Karnofski said. “The tempo of the game is going to look a little different.”

It helps that the soccer and volleyball teams both made the postseason.

“They came in far better shape than last year,” Karnofski said. “This was the first time for the soccer kids getting an extra week of conditioning.”

Grace Pelletier, a 5-foot-10 senior, will take over the rebounding role of Naugle. Payton Kessler, a 5-7 sophomore, is expected to score more.

Also in the rotation is senior Averee Perdue (5-4), junior Veda Frost (5-6), sophomore Jenna Lee (5-8) and freshman Ella Anderson (5-7).

“Our goal is to compete in the playoffs and not just show up,” Karnofski said. “Last year we didn’t have a real good showing because we hadn’t been there. We expect things to go a little different this year.”

Columbian sports reporter