The Fab Four was the nickname for the Beatles. I won’t be blogging about the greatest rock band ever today, but about the Fab Four of the Lac qui Parle Valley girls basketball team. Four seniors that have left a mark on the girls basketball program.
As the buzzer sounded last Friday night with the Eagles losing to the Minneota Vikings at the RA Facility in Marshall and the LQPV Eagles walked off the court for the last time together. I felt as many in the crowd did, a sense of real sadness for the four senior basketball players and knowing their playing days together were over. Taylor Shelstad, Camryn Lee, Ayanna Gibson and Rylee Lund have been playing competitive basketball since 4th grade! That is a long time.
I didn’t start following these Fab Four until they started playing at the varsity level. I’ve been broadcasting high school basketball for many years and I can tell you for a fact, nobody played better basketball together than these four girls. The growth and maturity I saw from their freshman year until their senior year was incredible. Here is some incredible fun facts about these girls when they were young.
In 5th grade they got invited to the great 4 state championship game for pacesetters and got to play at the Target Center. In 6th grade they won the pacesetter MIT tournament in Maple Grove. 7th grade they went undefeated in their school season and won the Dawg Pound classic in Becker MN and got invited to play at the Target Center again against a team from Wisconsin. 8th grade they went undefeated at the C-squad level for LqPV. 9th grade they gave Coach John Schurb his first undefeated season on b-squad. In 4-5 grade they had a record of 41-1. Not sure how many total games they have played together but would guess well over 300. There senior season they had 25 wins!
Taylor Shelstad is a relative of mine and a good athlete. She is recognized as one of the best high school girl basketball players in the state. Over her career, she has received many awards. I give a Neon Needles/Subway Player of the Game t-shirt out to the best player in the game. I think she has a few of them in her closet. Camryn Lee is fun to watch, I have always enjoyed watching her play. She is so good under the basket and has improved so much since watching her as a freshman. She is a force on the court. Other teams fear her. Ayanna Gibson according to a few coaches I have visited with is the best defensive player in the conference. Ayanna gets after it. She always guards the opponents best offensive player and is sometimes mismatched with height, but is tenacious! Rylee Lund, had knee surgery a few years ago and has become one of the best three point shooters around. She is a competitor! She is a good ball handler and has a smart basketball IQ.
I know Isabel Gerdes is a junior and has another year left, but I want to include her with these Fab Four. Isabel has played with these girls from the beginning as well. I was lucky enough to see Isabel play some fantastic games this year. I named her Player of the Game a couple of times. She is a really good basketball player. When she drives to the basket, get out of her way! When she shoots a three pointer it’s going in! She is a competitor. Unfortunately, she blew her knee out in the first round of section play, but was able to play a few minutes against Minneota and contributed two threes right away in the game and then went down again and couldn’t return. Love her heart and attitude.
I don’t know these girls very well, but each time I have talked with them they are always kind and respectful and always giving praise to their teammates and others. Not thinking about themselves. I have gotten to know their parents and grandparents well over the years. Some high school athletes leave a lasting mark at there high school. I remember Bobby Beck, Taylor Reiss, Jeff Norgaard, Carrie Tollefson and others. Names that will live forever in their communities because what they did on the basketball court while in high school. But these Fab Four, Taylor, Ayanna, Camryn and Rylee have left a lasting mark at Lac qui Parle Valley.
*Some information provided by parents