SEASON HIGHLIGHT: The Bravettes improved over last season, finishing 30-2 before bowing out in the supersectional to LeRoy, reaching the win and advancement goal the team set before the season. “Personally, I just wanted to help my team out as much as I can.”
BREAKOUT SEASON: Van Hyfte found her way on to just about every all-state list under the sun and was a Miss Basketball of Illinois nominee after averaging 23 points, 12.7 rebounds, 2.5 steals, and 2.7 blocks. “Coming into the season, I really didn’t have as high of expectations as I reached. I’m so proud I accomplished those. I wasn’t really expecting it.”
IMPROVED CONDITIONING: Van Hyfte credited her time at Quad-Cities Sports Acceleration to her improved play thanks to being faster and more agile. “It’s amazing. They work you hard every time. I threw up three times and I passed out once.”
MOTHERING HER GAME: Van Hyfte’s mother is the former Valerie Wanckett. Wanckett finished her career as a two-time all-state selection and still ranks No. 17 in points scored and No. 7 in rebounds in Illinois girls basketball history. “My mom has been working with me since fifth grade, teaching me tons of post moves. I obviously couldn’t have done it without her. She is the main reason, probably the only reason, why I’m as good as I am today.”
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LEAVING LOSSES: Annawan suffered only two defeats on the season, once in the State Farm Classic to El Paso-Gridley and the other to LeRoy. Van Hyfte said the last loss was hard on the seniors, but she still has more basketball to play.
FUTURE: Van Hyfte has been playing varsity since her freshman year with older girls. Next season players her own age will join the squad, something she is looking forward to. “We’re going to be even better, because it will be my coming up, too. We’ve been working together since third grade. It’s going to be fantastic to work with all of them again.”