KIMBERLY - The Kimberly girls basketball team is 10-0, ranked No. 3 in the FOX 11 Top 11 girls basketball poll and the Papermakers' perfection is being achieved with a young roster.
The Papermakers have just two seniors on their roster but at the halfway point of the Fox Valley Association season they are 9-0 and lead the closest pursuers, Oshkosh North and Fond du Lac, by two games each.
"It's always a goal at the beginning of the season to win conference," said senior Elly Pirman.
Kimberly isn't new to contending for conference titles as it last shared the FVA title two seasons ago. However, being undefeated through the first half of the conference season is a little surprising.
"I don't know if we expected it because our league, the FVA, is a really tough conference," Frankie Wurtz said. "We have a lot of good competition."
Maybe so, but in its nine conference games Kimberly has won six games by at least 15 points, while the other three opponents might've tested the Papermakers but got no closer than six points.
"I don't think you ever expect to win all your games up to this point, but I do know this group is very good and the fact there's a lot of kids are dedicated in the offseason," coach Troy Cullen said. "We have a strong junior class and sophomore class so I knew we had possibilities to have a good year."
Pirman was part of the 2011 co-championship team and said despite the lack of seniors she was confident the team would perform well.
"Even though we're young in age, we have a a lot of varsity experience, so we thought that was a positive," Pirman said. "We expected to do well in conference and obviously right now we're undefeated, so we're meeting our expectations."
Leading the way is Wurtz, a sophomore, who's averaging about 15 points per game. She just might be on pace to be named FVA player of the year.
"She's just a kid that lives in the gym, especially in the summer," Cullen said. "She works at it so hard. It's so nice to have a kid like that because she makes others around her better."
As well as Kimberly is playing, the players see more room for improvement. And why not, there are 12 more regular season games to play before the postseason tips off.
"I think we can get a lot better," Wurtz said. "We're not even close to where we could be. We've been playing really good lately, everyone has stepped up. It's been going really good."
Sounds like the makings of a possible FVA champion.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
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