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All-area MVP Kayla Morrissey a leader on and off the floor for LT

LA GRANGE – Kayla Morrissey wasn’t flashy or an obvious standout, but what she gave Lyons Township this season was invaluable.

The forward was the only senior starter on a team that also had a new coaching staff. Morrissey was an all-conference player based on her quality stats (11.9 points and five rebounds per game while shooting 50 percent from 3-point range), but also gave the Lions leadership and experience they desperately needed to have a winning season.

“She was one of those quiet, tough players that when you watch her you don’t go wow, but at the end of the game she has 14 or 18 points,” LT coach Paul Krick said. “She was our rock. She might not be the flashy one. What she is, she’s a complete player. She plays hard on defense, she rebounds extremely well. Because she’s so strong she was able to get to the rim and finish. On top of that she’s an unbelievable student in the top 10 percent of the class.”

Morrissey’s current college choices showcase her strong academic record. All three schools, the University of Chicago, Grinnell and DePauw, also want her to play for their basketball team. Krick also nominated Morrissey to be academic all-state.

This season was her third year on varsity and the most successful of her time on varsity. The Lions won 18 games and also won a playoff game for the first time since 2010, and the kicker was that it came against rival Hinsdale Central.

“We had a really successful season with it being a transition year and all with new coaches,” Morrissey said. “It was a great senior year for me.”

The leadership role was one Morrissey comfortably and capably stepped into.

“It was definitely more responsibility just being a leader and a captain of the team,” she said. “I like being that person. I think I had a bigger leadership role, but it wasn’t necessarily tough being that person.”

She also plays catcher for the LT softball team, and tryouts started Monday. Morrissey started softball at a younger age but gradually grew to like basketball more.

“Last year I was like I just love playing basketball, so I kind of focused more on basketball,” Morrissey said. “I played travel softball all the way up to this year, and I’m not now because I wanted to focus on basketball and prepare for that in the fall instead of having to practice softball, too.”

Morrissey has one more season of softball before she heads to college with the idea of possibly putting her leadership skills into a coaching and teaching future.

About Kayla Morrissey

Year: Senior

Position: Forward

Favorite LT memory: beating Hinsdale Central in the playoffs this year

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