By Ray Hamill — One year after a dominating season on the local high school basketball courts, Kaylie McCracken has made a smooth transition to the collegiate game.
The former Arcata High standout and Big 5 MVP has started every game this season at Whitman College in Washington, and is third in scoring for the NCAA Division-III program.
“Kaylie is having a very solid first year,” Whitman head coach Michelle Ferenz said. “She is making an immediate impact on our program.”
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McCracken, a Loleta native, has helped the Blues to an impressive 13-4 record, including a 7-1 mark in the Northwest Conference standings, which has them tied for first with George Fox.
McCracken, the only freshman in a starting lineup that also features a senior, two juniors and a sophomore, is third on the team with 9.6 points.
She is also third in rebounds with 4.9 a game, and second in 3-point shooting percentage (.372), making good on 16 of her 43 attempts this season.
McCracken, who led the Arcata girls to a sixth straight Big 5 title a year ago, scored a season-high 24 points against Pacific (Ore) in late November, and finished with 18 in a recent game against Linfield.
“Great work ethic has helped her adjust to the college level,” Ferenz added. “We are really excited to see how she develops over the next three years.”
The Blues split a pair of games this past weekend, defeating Pacific Lutheran 91-50 on Friday, before dropping their first conference game of the year, 91-50 at the University of Puget Sound on Saturday.
Whitman is a private liberal arts school in Walla, Walla.