All By Myself: Without twin sister by her side, Flynn becoming one of top scorers in JWCC history
QUINCY – John Wood Community College guard Katey Flynn admits it’s strange not playing alongside her twin sister, Klare, on the basketball court this season.
The Flynn twins had been teammates in whatever sport was in season growing up in Mount Sterling. The only previous separation came during their freshman year in high school when Klare was sidelined with a knee injury suffered the summer before.
They helped Brown County reach unprecedented heights on the basketball court. The Hornets won 91 games during their high school careers, including a single-season record of 31 as seniors. The Flynns were instrumental in the program capturing back-to-back regional tournament championships for the first time in its history.
While Klare opted to attend Illinois State University and forego extending her athletic career, Katey chose to continue to pursue her basketball dreams at JWCC. She’s already establishing herself as one of the best scorers in school history.
“It’s definitely different,” Katey said. “You know, she kind of knew my whole brain, so sometimes that was helpful. But she’s doing her own thing and I’m doing my own thing. We still call every day.”
Katey Flynn is averaging a team-leading 21.6 points per game, which ranks No. 14 in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II ranks this season. She has scored 20 more points in 15 of the Trail Blazers’ 19 games and has surpassed the 25-point plateau seven times. She netted a high of 28 points against Sauk Valley in early December.
If she continues her current pace through JWCC’s remaining nine regular season games, Flynn will surpass 600 points and close in on 10th place on the school’s all-time scoring list. Jessy Fletcher’s record of 1,014 career points from 1998-2000 would easily be within her reach if she returns for her sophomore season.
Moreover, Flynn is shooting 43 percent from the floor and nearly 85 percent from the free-throw line. She leads the team in 3-point shooting and grabs 7 rebounds a game while rarely leaving the court.
Off the court, she made the President’s List with a 4.0 grade-point average the first semester.
Second-year JWCC coach Lauren Bogle anticipated Flynn would immediately be an offensive force but admits the 5-foot-9 guard has exceeded expectations.
“I thought she would be our leading scorer, but I didn’t think she would average this many points for this long,” Bogle said. “Not that I didn’t think she was capable of it, but for her to continue to do it every single night has been huge.
“She was kind of laying back the first week of practice and I was telling her, ‘Katey, take over.’ I think she began to realize, ‘Yeah, I’m a key player on this team. I’m the fire starter.’ She’s taken on a bigger role than maybe we expected, but it’s been perfect for us.”
Victories were few for the Trail Blazers a year ago when they had only six players available because of injuries for most of the second half of the season. Despite a better-stocked roster, they opened this season with six losses in eight games, although three of those defeats were by two points or fewer.
JWCC began to hit its stride in early December, winning seven of its next eight games before dropping a 74-70 heartbreaker at home to Parkland College on Jan. 20. Its losing streak reached three with back-to-back home losses to Lincoln Land and Danville last week.
“It’s definitely been an adjustment from high school,” Flynn said. “College is a more physical game, which means hitting the weight room more, and I’ve had to learn to play with new players. But my teammates are constantly pushing me to be better, and my coach really believes in me.”
Flynn was primarily a ball distributor and lockdown defender early in her high school career, although she was always a threat to score and averaged in double figures. Her game blossomed as a senior when she averaged a team-leading 18.5 points per game to help Brown County reach the Class 1A sectional title game.
She finished as the second-leading scorer in Hornets’ history and earned honorable mention All-State honors.
“Coming in here, Coach said, ‘Hey, we need an offensive threat.’ And that’s what I have to be for this team,” she said. “I feel like I have to be a more versatile player. If they need me to go inside, I go inside. I’m not just a guard. I gotta play whatever position they need me to.”
That versatility means Flynn rarely leaves the court. She played all but two minutes in JWCC’s last three games, and that absence was only because she picked up her fourth foul with seven minutes remaining against Lincoln Land.
“I didn’t expect her to play 40 minutes a game, but it’s proving that she’s someone I gotta keep on the floor,” Bogle said. “She has stepped up and can do a little bit of everything. She loves this game. She wants to win. She wants to play hard. She’s just a dog, ready to go at any time.”
It was that character that impressed Bogle when she first began recruiting Flynn as an assistant to former JWCC coach Norm Rodriguez.
“I really liked her energy,” Bogle said. “She had really good skills, obviously, but it was impressive how she interacted with her teammates. She’s always telling teammates to keep their heads up, giving high fives, keeping the energy positive.
“I liked her as a person and for her character, and that has continued here.”
Flynn and the Trail Blazers hope to snap their losing streak with road games this week against Lewis & Clark and Illinois Central. Five of their remaining games are on the road, which may be a good thing. They have a winning record on the road but have lost six of nine home contests.
Although their record has fallen to 9-10, season goals are still within reach. Flynn will no doubt play an integral role in reaching them.
“We won’t let this get us down,” Bogle said. “We’ll move on so that we’re ready to win when it really matters. We want to win Sophomore Night and three games (in the Region 24 tournament) to get to nationals.”
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