Scheels Athlete of the Week: Early Season Game With Nationally Ranked Foe a Confidence Boost For Regina's Wallace


By Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

IOWA CITY – Regina coach Jeff Wallace added a non-conference contest with Missouri power program Incarnate Word to the schedule this season with one plan in mind – helping his team improve.

With four consecutive wins since an overtime loss to the defending Missouri state champions that plan appears to be paying off and no Regal has benefitted more from the trip to Missouri than junior guard Kennedy Wallace.

Wallace is averaging 16.8 points per game during Regina’s current four-game winning streak that followed a 63-58 loss to Incarnate Word on December 2nd.

“I think that was a huge turning point for us,” Wallace said. “I don’t think we’ve ever shot the ball like that, if you look at our percentages that game they were really high and I think that honestly helped our whole team. I think it will help us in the future as the games get more difficult.”

Wallace was 5-of-10 from 3-point range on her way to a team-high 15 points against an Incarate Word team that USA Today ranked the 16th best team in the country in its preseason rankings.

Since that game Wallace is averaging 16.8 points per game and has led Regina in scoring each of the past three games.

“I think what was really a big confidence booster was she had a really good game against Incarnate Word, a nationally ranked team,” Regina coach Jeff Wallace said. “They had division I athletes all over the floor chasing her around and she was still back to knock down shots and I think that really helped her confidence.”

The 5-foot-8 junior has been especially hot over the last week.

Wallace has set a new career high in scoring in three straight games starting with a 19-point performance against West Liberty on Friday.

Less than 24 hours later Wallace had 20 points in a win over Wilton had put up 25 on Tuesday in a 59-33 win at Class 3A No. 13 Monticello.

“She had three straight games with career highs, she is really stroking the ball well and she is playing with a lot of confidence and we need to her to score,” Jeff Wallace said. “I think she would be the first to tell you she is getting her shots in really good places and her teammates are doing a really good job of getting her the ball in a position where she is confident to shoot it.”

Wallace missed all 10 of her field goal attempts and had one points in a season-opening loss.

She had three points and made a single field goal in a 50-46 win over Mid-Prairie last week.

Those performances didn’t slow Wallace who has made at least three 3-pointers in each of her last three games including seven in the win over Monticello.

“As a shooter you can get down on yourself but you have to move on to the next play or the next game and trust yourself,” Wallace said. “I know that I have put in the time and the work and everything will start to fall once you start being more confident.”

Wallace is averaging 13.7 points per game on the season for Class 2A sixth-ranked Regina (5-2) which ranks second on the team behind junior center Alex Wiese.

“I give credit to our guards and posts because they’ve found me when I’m open,” Wallace said. “It’s just confidence and knocking down shots when I’m open.”