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Meet the Athlete: Kari Moffat

Stevenson's point guard has started since her freshman year. By most accounts, she's one of the top point guards in the area.

Kari Moffat is 's point guard on the girls basketball team.

Stevenson girls basketball has been in the headlines before. Back-to-back state championships in 1995 and 1996 put the program on the map. Then the Patriots slipped somewhat.

And then there was important news in Lincolnshire — the Pats had landed a big fish. As in successful head coach Tom Dineen. He, too, had won a state championship at Buffalo Grove (2000). One thing was clear, he wouldn't stand for any losing.

The timing was perfect, for in Lincolnshire there was a determined point guard named Kari Moffat. Ever since she was in sixth grade, it was her dream to break into a Stevenson lineup at an early age.

"It was the first day of tryouts," Moffat recalled. "And I introduced myself to Mr. Dineen who was in his first year."

Dineen did not discriminate against this freshman.

"My philosophy is the best kids will play," Dineen said. "And that was the case with Kari. I've had a lot of good point guards over the years. And my expectations are very high for them."

Moffat broke into Dineen's lineup as a freshman. The Patriots won 20 games that winter and have not looked back.

On the court: This determined player is making progress in her third year on the varsity. As a junior, she is playing at a high level, passing the ball to her teammates and driving to the basket. Moffat is a point guard who can score in double figures on a regular basis.

"Over the years, my ballhandling has improved," she said. "I'm smarter with my decision making. I've improved my jump shot. I can get assists with my passes."

Behind the scenes, Moffat is putting in the time to become the best player she can be. She's had a personal trainer (Jeff Pagliocca) since the fourth grade.

"He helps me with my ballhandling skills," Moffat said.

Again her scoring has increased this year. There was that 22-point game against Libertyville. She poured in 18 against Zion-Benton.

"I thought one of my better games came against Lake Zurich," she said. "They double teamed me, but we still won."

Dineen depends on Moffat to run his offense.

"That last two or three games, she really has played exceptional," he said.

Moffat also pays attention to her defensive play.

"My coach says my defense has gotten better," she said. "I take a lot of pride in it. They trust me to guard the other team's best player."

Team Update: The Pats are headed for another 20-win campaign. After a tight 45-43 win over a good Cary-Grove squad on Wednesday, the Pats moved to 18-6 on the year. And if Stevenson wins its last three NSC games (Lake Forest, Lake Zurich and Mundelein), the Pats will clinch the NSC Lake Division and represent the division in the NSC title game.

Of course, Moffat is well aware her team has lost six straight games over the last two years to rival Libertyville, and that doesn't sit well with this competitive player.

"I don't know what it is with them," she said. "I get one more year to get them."

Stevenson did avenge a loss last year to Grayslake Central. The team, coached by former Stevenson teacher Steve Ikenn, fell to the Pats 42-31 earlier in the week.

"We didn't shoot well," Dineen said. "But we shut them out in the third quarter."

Dineen is hoping for a top four seed in the Palatine Sectional.

Off the court: Although, she's totally dedicated to her basketball career, Moffat has found time to dabble in other sports.

"I used to play soccer and did dance," she said. "I like music and like hanging out with friends. But my passion is basketball."

When the season concludes, she heads out for more hoops with the Midwest Elite, an AAU basketball team. She had her start in travel basketball with the Lincolnshire Lightning.

In the classroom, Moffat enjoys English, History and Spanish.

With the potential to be a four-year starter for this team, Moffat has her eye on playing college basketball.

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