Madison Kuehl's smile, and personality are difficult to miss on and off the court.
The 5'10" senior guard is heading to Dakota Wesleyan next season, but before she leaves, she has some unfinished business. She hopes to lead West Central back to the state tournament, and to keep her eyes on a title.
"That would be awesome. I mean that's something we have always hoped for and last year we got to the state tournament and it didn't up exactly end how we wanted it to be. But if we really work hard this year, we can get there."
At 18-2, West Central is No. 4 in the latest ESPN 99.1 basketball poll. Last night, the Trojans beat Wagner, 73-64, in the semifinals of Region 5A.
Kuehl started playing basketball in the second grade, and is thankful her mom and dad kept pushing her because she has fell in love with the game ever since.
"I love how it is team sport, and it's really fun to me. I enjoy every minute of it from practicing to the games. It's awesome! It's taught me to be a team leader, and to have great team chemistry."
The senior guard enjoys being team player, and leads by example vocally while playing unselfishly on the court, and being a great person off the court.
"She's a great leader on and off the court. Her work ethic is outstanding and she is just a good person. Everyone seems to like her really well," adds West Central head coach Joe Caffrey.
Her teammates would agree, and love playing with Madison on a nightly basis.
"They would say I am a good leader, a good team player and they like being around me," says Kuehl.
Madison has been playing for West Central since eighth grade, and has improved immensely on the basketball court.
"She's really matured with us physically, and mentally out on the court. She has become such a smarter player, and her speed and aggressiveness has improved a trememendous amount," shares Caffrey.
Hard work has definitely paid off for Kuehl. She is averaging 15.1 points, 2.1 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.5 steals on the season. (statistics for the Trojans game on February 27 were excluded). In two of her best games this season, she scored 24 points against Sioux Falls Christian, and 23 points against Elk Point Jefferson.
Kuehl brings a combination of skills to the Trojans. Her size, speed, and skills allow her to
be a tough person for opponents to guard, and can guard anyone on the defensive side of the basketball.
"She's an outstanding shooter. She can slash to the basket, and rebounds well. She is the complete package," says Caffrey.
"Defensively, I'm a good aspect, and I'm a good shooter and like to drive in with the ball," adds Kuehl.
She will be missed on the floor for the Trojans, and over her career, she has loved to wear blue and white on a nightly basis for West Central.
"I love playing for West Central. It's really fun, and we have a great team with great senior leaders, and a good underclassman group."
Kuehl will be attending Dakota Wesleyan next year to play basketball, as stated earlier, and will major in nursing. At West Central, she also played volleyball, and ran track. In the classroom, she really likes math.