Guilford’s Dennis heading off to college early

ROCKFORD – Kate Dennis of Guilford is the first Vikings girls basketball player in more than 15 years to sign a Division 1 scholarship.

On Nov. 11, Dennis signed to play with Ohio University, a Mid-American Conference power under coach Bob Bolden. Kate is wasting no time getting involved. She plans on graduating from Guilford on Dec. 7, forgoing her senior year of eligibility, to enroll immediately at the Athens, Ohio, school.

Last season, Kate became just the fifth Vikings player in program history to top 1,000 career points. At Ohio, she’ll get a chance to play on the biggest stage. Under Bolden, the Bobcats have won 20 or more games four times in seven seasons and played in the NCAA tournament once and the NIT tournament three times.

Of course, Ohio’s gain is a loss for fans of Rockford Public Schools basketball. Dennis finished last season with 1,143 career points at Guilford after averaging 17.1 points and leading the Vikings to 18 wins. She was named first team All-NIC-10 for the second straight year and would have been a lock, barring injury, to be first team again this season.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s high school basketball season was pushed back to some time in the spring. Even with an abbreviated season, Dennis likely would have passed Kaleia Monteiro (1,305) on the Guilford scoring list. She likely wouldn’t have had enough games on her schedule to catch Cierra Pulliam, who graduated in 2005 with 1,736 points at Guilford.

Pulliam is the last Vikings player to play Division 1 NCAA college basketball. Pulliam played two seasons at Chicago State. Monteiro is having an outstanding career at Lincoln College. Monteiro signed with Lincoln in 2017 when it was a junior college. Lincoln became a four-year college playing in the NAIA division in 2018. In the past two seasons, Monteiro, who will be a senior this year, has scored 917 points and grabbed 700 rebounds in 57 games.

Posted on 11.30.20