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ORLEANS-With the official college signing session in full swing, one of Lake Regionâ€™s best hoopsters, senior Kylie Atwood, signed on the dotted line locking in her post high school hoop career. Atwood agreed to sign with the University of Vermont Catamounts starting in the fall of 2012. That insures Atwood playing at the Division One level at the stateâ€™s biggest and only DI sports Institution.
Atwood, 18 of Albany overcame an ACL injury that knocked her out of nine games last season. Her Ranger teammates made it all the way to the finals without her, losing to Windsor. They compiled a 22-2 record with both losses occurring with Atwood on the sideline. Atwood garnered the top state award in basketball as she was named the stateâ€™s Gatorade Player of the year, a first for any Lady Ranger hoopster.
Kylie , despite missing twelve games over the last two years at LRUHS, still has 857 career points. She has an excellent shot at the 1000 plateau and considering she averages 18 points a game she would probably be the all-time Ranger leader in scoring male or female without the injury that cost her a dozen games.
With a stellar season this upcoming winter , she can still accomplish those individual goals. Atwood was a fine softball and soccer player before basketball took over. Despite focusing on one sport now, Kylie is considered to be the last of the true blue chip group of female and male athletes on the Orleans campus.
That collective group recently have led LRUHS to an unparalleled five year multi sport success from 2007 to 2011 capped by last yearâ€™s 2010-11 girls class that went 44-11, the most wins put together in one year by a girls team. While the boys programs tailed off last year after a four year run, in the 2010-11 season the girls programs continued to flourish.
Only the 2007-08 season for the boys, who won 46 games thru the three sport season including the only boys state championship in school history, had more victories in Lake Region history than last years girls teams.
The girlâ€™s basketball program under Head coach Mark Tinker has been the most successful of all teams at LRUHS. During the streak that started in the 2006-2007 season and covering the last four years, the program amassed an 87-9 record and a 66-6 mark during Atwoodâ€™s time at the Orleans based school.
While the school has produced many outstanding girls multi-sport athletes recently Atwood stands out. She has outstanding court vision and great range inside and outside. She is the best mid-range jumpshooter the school has seen and her ability to deliver the ball to teammates from all angles to the level she can sets her apart..
Her senior year may be the most challenging yet. After being part of a Donna Lawson led 2009 state championship team her freshman year with many standout athletes around her, this yearâ€™s team will have a new look. Three strong, skilled, physical and experienced starters graduated leaving just Atwood and fellow starter Cailyn Gallup plus three other players with serious game experience to carry the torch.
With the Lady Rangers looking less feared than usual, getting double teamed may be a fact of life for Kylie. But with her skill set, Atwood is up to the challenge.
Atwood concedes, â€śItâ€™s really a relief to have it done. I was cleared to play over a month ago and now I can just focus on the upcoming season and prepare for my major, which will probably be nursing. I think Lake Region will have a good year, maybe not as athletic as last year, but I think we will have both good chemistry and a good team.â€ť
The Lady Rangers begin practice on the 28th.