BISMARCK, N.D. - Lilly Keplin led the Century Patriots to a victory in the West Region Championship game last week.
Keplin scored 30 points in that contest and she's one of the best girls basketball players in North Dakota.
It takes a special talent to contribute to a Class-A varsity basketball program for four years. Lilly Keplin has that talent and her head coach says she's a one-of-a-kind leader.
"Just knowing the way she is, the motor she has, the energy that she has, the desire that she has to do her best, and, you know, give all she has to do for the team and make sure everyone else around her better. I'm sure there's a lot of players that do that also, but there's just some intrinsic value that she has that just makes her so much better at that than a lot of other players," said Ron Metz, Century head coach.
Keplin will be remembered as one of the best sharp shooters in Century's history with numerous records to solidify her legacy.
"Its really cool, especially like all the records this year, I didn't even know that most of them were a thing: like most in a season and most in a career. Its a really cool, you know, knowing that someone like Jordyn Jossart had them before me is like really cool because she was an amazing shooter as well and surpassing that is just like kind of an honor in a way," said Keplin.
After winning the West Region title this past weekend, Keplin has her sights on leading the Patriots to the state championship for the second year in a row.
"I'm just taking it all in, appreciating it one last time because after this, this is it for high school and I've thought about that, you know, its kind of bittersweet because you know if we end up going out on top at the end of the year that's awesome, but its the end of things," said Keplin.
Her Century basketball career is just about over but her collegiate career is on the horizon. Keplin will stay in state and play for the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks.
"Brewster kind of told me his main reason for recruiting me was just like my ability to control the game without the ball and, you know, my competitive nature and then my attitude towards the game. He saw me as a work horse and he really liked that in me and obviously he liked the fact that I can shoot and take care of the ball as well, and its just nice to stay in state knowing that my parents can watch my games on TV and they can come to my games," said Keplin.
She was chosen as a finalist for the North Dakota Miss Basketball award by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Keplin and the Patriots will face Grant Forks Red River in the first round of the State A tournament Thursday at 5:00 p.m. CST in the Exhibit Hall at the Bismarck Events Center.