MALTA — Sisters Ashley and Abby Kerns were eager to continue their basketball careers after graduating from Rochelle Township High School in 2017. When the former Lady Hubs wrapped up their first season with Kishwaukee College this past year, the two guards were even more excited to gear up for their second go-around with the Lady Kougars.
Both girls have helped Kishwaukee match its win total from the 2017-18 season, when the Lady Kougars finished 5-24 overall. The green and white are currently 5-10 through 15 games this winter, and the girls have not only enjoyed better results on the court, but they’ve earned the opportunity to reunite with former Rochelle teammates Morgan Baker and Cesca Vardman, who also suit up for Kishwaukee.
“It’s comfortable being able to play with former teammates because we already understand how to play with each other as opposed to learning how to play with new teammates,” Abby said. “Both Morgan and Cesca have contributed tremendously to our team with their quickness as well as Morgan’s shooting ability.”
“It’s been great seeing them both take on very important roles with the team,” Ashley added. “I like playing with familiar faces and I like already having an idea of how they both like to play the game.”
The Kerns sisters are combining for 4.5 points and 4.5 assists this season while adding 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Abby has started 12 games for the Lady Kougars, averaging 20.9 minutes per game. Ashley had played in 10 games as she works her way back from an ankle injury. Kishwaukee opens conference play against Carl Sandburg College on Thursday.
“This season has been really good and I think that our team has really come together,” Ashley said. “A lot of our losses have been really close games. We have a lot of good new players that have really stepped up this season. I’m excited to start conference games because I think we have a chance to do really well in the conference this year.”
“Our season has started out better than last year because we have plenty of new players,” Abby added. “We have all aspects of a team that needs to execute on the floor… We all have a new mind set this year and we are focusing more on the details because we all know that defense will help us win our games. Offense and finishing will come with playing good defense.”
Ashley’s best efforts this season included scoring seven points with four rebounds and two assists in a 61-37 win over College of DuPage on Dec. 4. She also scored five points with four rebounds in an 80-73 victory against Milwaukee Area Technical College on Nov. 29.
Abby also scored seven points while compiling five assists and two steals against College of DuPage, and she totaled five points, six rebounds and four assists in a close loss to Wilbur Wright College on Dec. 8.
“I think I’ve improved most on being a better teammate,” Ashley said. “I think one of my biggest roles on the team is trying to pick others up if they get down… I’ve improved on dribbling, ball control and breaking the presses of other teams. Overall, I think I’ve improved on the offensive end the most.”