Central’s Vander Molen named league athlete of the week
PELLA—Central College women’s basketball guard Kenzie Vander Molen (junior, Pella) has been named Iowa Conference female athlete of the week following a career outing in the league opener.
Vander Molen erupted for a career-high 29 points in a come-from-behind, one-point win over Luther (76-75) Wednesday before scoring 19 in a one-point setback to Dubuque (53-52) Saturday.
The Dutch trailed by as much as 17 points to the Norse, but Vander Molen scored 19 second-half points, including five in a 19-second span to cut the deficit to 75-73 with 1:16 remaining in the game. The spurt set the stage for guard Courtney Kelderman’s (senior, Pella) late-game heroics in the form of a game-winning 3-pointer with three seconds on the clock. Vander Molen finished 9-of-16 from the floor, a scorching 5-of-7 from behind the 3-point arc and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. She also tallied five assists, three rebounds and three steals, despite playing the final 15 minutes with four personal fouls.
In the weekend finale Vander Molen played the entire 40 minutes and recorded 19 points, four rebounds and three assists, but the Dutch rally stalled in the closing minute and the Spartans escaped with the victory.
“Kenzie is a true leader with great court awareness and an aggressive attitude,” coach Chelsea Petersen said. “She reflects the best traits and values of the Central women’s basketball program. She deserves this award tenfold.”
Vander Molen finished the week with 48 total points (24.0 points per game) on 15-of-32 shooting, 7-of-15 from behind the 3-point arc and 11-of-13 from the free throw line, eight assists, seven rebounds and three steals.
It is Vander Molen’s first athlete of the week honor, as well as her first women’s basketball player of the week honor.
Central (9-4 overall, 1-1 conference) continues its challenging trek through the league Wednesday night against Wartburg (6-7 overall, 0-2 conference). The Knights stumbled in two road games this week at Dubuque (61-59) and at Luther (87-80). Game time is set for 6 p.m. at Waverly.