Hopewell girls basketball teams hopes to build on strong finish

Written by Joe Koch on .

The Hopewell girls' basketball team started slowly last season, losing four of its first six games. However, the Vikings responded nicely, finished with an overall record of 15-12 and qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs with a 6-6 record in Section 2-AAA.

A huge factor in the Vikings' late-season success was the effort provided by Class AAA Fab Five and All-section player Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. A 6-0 junior guard/forward, Kimbrough led the Vikings with a 21.1 points per game average.

The versatile three-sport athlete almost single-handedly knocked out No. 3 seed South Park with a 25-point effort in a 51-44 victory in a first-round WPIAL playoff game. The Vikings' season then suffered a 43-38 loss to section rival Ambridge in the quarterfinals.

Walker-Kimbrough, who also excels at volleyball and track and field, scored 18 of her 27 points in the first half in a 54-45 PIAA play-in victory over Lewistown. But Hopewell's season ended with a 55-47 loss to Mercyhurst Prep in the first round, though Walker-Kimbrough went down fighting as she led the Vikings with 23 points.

Hopewell begins its season next Tuesday with a non-section game against nearby rival West Allegheny. The Vikings open Section 2-AAA at Beaver Area on Dec. 15.