Devils Lake Journal Athlete of the Week (Nov. 29-Dec. 5): Quinn Neppl, Benson County

John B. Crane
Devils Lake Journal

DEVILS LAKE – There is no denying it – the Benson County Wildcats Girls Basketball team has a star on their hands (or, well, paws). 

This star, of course, refers to the scoring phenom in senior guard/forward Quinn Neppl, who took home this week’s Athlete of the Week honor. 

To say Neppl has hit the ground running would be an understatement. Neppl played in 3.5 games last week and averaged 25 points per game (PPG), eight rebounds per game (RPG) and four steals per game (SPG). Neppl also made the Lake Region Invitational All-Tournament Team after her production helped propel the Wildcats to a third-place finish. 

But the sailing was not entirely smooth. A finger dislocation forced Neppl to exit Benson County’s opening-round matchup against Larimore on Dec. 2. A short trip to the ER in Devils Lake came to no avail, and as a result, Neppl instead trekked to Rugby to get the finger patched up. 

Neppl returned to the court the next day and went back to work. 

Over the years, Benson County head coach Kent Neppl has recognized Neppl’s drive and ability to finish plays. This ability to finish has improved the most through her time in the program. 

“I want to say her ability to finish,” Benson County head coach Kent Neppl said. “When she was younger, she would get shots, but she wasn’t finishing. Now, she is able to finish those shots. I would also say her situational awareness, recognizing around her, when she can get to that rim, and when she can get that shot off. In previous years, she would try and force a lot more stuff up and go into double teams. Now, she has learned how to recognize double teams, split double teams and how to get through them.” 

Quinn has made coaches and teammates alike raise eyebrows from her in-game adjustments. 

“There is something about Quinn that I can’t quite put my finger on yet that I am still trying to figure out,” Neppl said. “How she gets to the rim and how she does, I don’t know. I can’t explain it. She is just one of those kids that fights.” 

Congratulations to Neppl and Jenna Gerhardt (Devils Lake Wrestling) for being nominated. 

The Devils Lake Journal hosts its “Athlete of the Week” contest weekly. The athletes nominated and/or given the award are based on the athlete’s performance from the prior week. Ballot nominations are submitted from Saturday morning to Monday at 10:00 a.m. Finalist voting starts Monday at noon and ends Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. CT, assuming more than one finalist has been cast. 

The following programs can nominate an athlete for the honor: Devils Lake, Four Winds/Minnewaukan, North Star/Starkweather, Langdon/Edmore/Munich, Benson County, Nelson County, Dakota Prairie, Lakota, New Rockford-Sheyenne and Lake Region State College. Nominations will vary depending on the time of the season. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter for the release of the weekly ballot. 

Voting results: 

-      Quinn Neppl, Girls Basketball, Benson County: 69 votes (78.4%) 

-      Jenna Gerhardt, Wrestling, Devils Lake: 19 votes (21.6%)