Rachel Pranger drives to the basket during an Edwardsville girls basketball contest this season.Rachel Pranger, a 5-foot-11 forward, stood as the lone freshman selection on the Illinois Associated Press All-State Class 4A girls basketball honorable mention team.

Pranger finished a remarkable opening season with 472 points in 31 games, an average of 15.2 points a game. She made 187 of 353 for a 52.97 percentage and 97 of 129 free throws for 75.2 percent. She had 244 rebounds for an average of 7.9 per game.

“I was a little surprised, but excited to be on the all-state team,” Pranger said. “When I came into the year I just wanted to make the team and I didn’t expect to be a starter and for the year to go as well as it did. We are losing two of our good seniors and I want to work hard and together as a team for next year.”

Pranger’s major goal for the coming basketball season is to survive longer in the postseason and continue to improve her personal game. She is also a volleyball star and said she will continue to play both through high school, but she admitted her heart is with basketball.

“I enjoy both basketball and volleyball, but I have played since I was a little kid at the YMCA and then I went to club teams,” she said.

For the Pranger family, sports are important, with multiple athletes coming from the family both on the male and female side. Rachel’s father and his two brothers were also excellent high school athletes.

“Every time our family would get together we would play games in the backyard,” she said. “We have always done that. My dad played mostly football and baseball and my mom was a cheerleader.”

Rachel is a solid student and enjoys both science and math courses with all A’s.

“My parents have told me to just keep working hard and that I should be honored to make all-state as a freshman.”

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