By BRETT MARSHALL
Holcomb girls basketball standout Katie Pfeifer, The Garden City Telegram's 2013 Player of the Year, has signed an NAIA national letter-of-intent to play at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina next year.
Also being announced by Holcomb High School officials on Tuesday was the signing of another Lady Longhorn senior — Karissa Pena — to play at Pratt Community College for the Lady Beavers.
The announcement of Pfeifer's signing was made in a press release by the KWU basketball office and coach Ryan Showman.
"We are excited about the addition of Katie to our incoming freshman class," Showman said. "She will add immediate depth at the guard position."
Pfeifer, a 5-4 guard with great outside shooting skills, was the leading scorer for the Lady Longhorns, who posted a 19-5 won-loss record, advanced to the first round of the Class 3A state tournament in each of the last two seasons, but were ousted in the opener each time.
Pfeifer, averaged 14 points, five assists and three steals while shooting 41 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. She was a 71-percent free throw shooter and scored 14 points in her final game with the Lady Longhorns.
"She played point (guard) in high school, and that will help her transition to playing off the ball in more of a wing/shooting guard capacity," Showman said. "I could see her playing both, but in our offense, we need our guards to be quick and athletic, and Katie has that ability."
Pfeifer moved into the Holcomb lineup not long into her freshman season and was entrenched there for the rest of her prep career. During the four years she played for the Longhorns, the program posted a won-loss record of 70-21 (.769).
"Her leadership skills were evident in their late season run to a sub-state championship (a win over previously undefeated Cimarron in which she scored 22 points in the second half) and a berth in the 3A state tournament. I cannot wait to start working with her."
Kansas Wesleyan competes in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and finished the 2013 season with an 18-13 record.
Pena, a 5-7 forward/guard, was a second-team All-Area selection by The Telegram her senior year. She averaged 12 points, four rebounds and two steals while shooting 58 percent from the field. Pena, an outstanding all-around athlete, competed for the Lady Longhorns volleyball team in the fall and is a member of the HHS track team. Pfeifer is a member of the HHS softball team this spring.
"Karissa is the definite of a student-athlete," Pratt coach Stephanie Thompson said in an interview Wednesday. "We are excited to welcome her into our family. She has the mindset and work ethic to excel at this level and her athleticism is something we will utilize."
Pratt is a member of the Kansas Jayhawk Conference, and along with Garden City, Dodge City, Seward County, Hutchinson, Barton and Colby comprise the West Division. The Lady Beavers were 16-15 overall this past season.