Pryces are twin threats for IND Double trouble: Kim and Kelly Pryce have helped Indians gain third place in the Catholic League.

February 23, 1996|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Kim and Kelly Pryce look exactly alike -- until they step on the basketball court.

The identical twins, seniors at the Institute of Notre Dame, play contrasting positions and excel in different aspects of the game.

"Kim's more of a power player," said Kelly. "She likes to use her body and get position and get rebounds. I stay away from that. I'm more assists and outside shooting. She likes to do the dirty work."

Kim, a 5-foot-9 swing player, averages nine points and 5.8 rebounds while Kelly, a 5-7 guard, adds 11.4 points and 3.5 steals a game. The one thing both do identically is hit the three-pointer. Kelly has made five in a game three times this year while Kim holds the single-game school record with six.

Along with Catholic League Player of the Year Robin Johnson, the Pryce twins have guided the No. 13 Indians (13-9) to a third-place regular-season finish. The Indians open the Catholic League Tournament this afternoon when they play host to John Carroll.

Although often overshadowed by Johnson, Kim and Kelly have emerged in the past couple years as threats in their own right.

"I don't think they get enough credit for what they do," said Johnson. "They know when to give the ball to me and I know I can always count on them."

Opponents have learned that concentrating too much on Johnson can get them into trouble. Kim and Kelly can do almost as much.

"They understand the game," said Seton Keough coach Jim Stromberg, who first saw them play for an Arbutus rec team about eight years ago. "I think if there's any drawback, it's that they're just so critical of themselves, but that's what makes them the kind of players they are."

IND coach Deb Taylor agreed: "They are both extremely competitive. They hate to lose. They're real hard on each other, too. They're the first ones to say, 'That was such a lousy pass' or 'You should have had that rebound' or whatever. On the other hand, they're the first ones to be over there congratulating each other."

Of the two, Kelly has made the greatest strides mostly because she lacked confidence for a couple of years, especially in her shot. Although the turning point in her career came a year ago with 18 points in an upset of St. Mary's, Kelly did not start until this year. Now, she is a second-team All-Catholic League selection.

Kim missed out on postseason honors, but probably had a few coaches re-thinking their picks Saturday night. On the twins' 18th birthday, Kim scored seven points in overtime to push the Indians past No. 13 Mercy, 56-55, in front of 3,000 fans at Loyola College.

She hit the basket that sent the game into overtime and scored the game-winner on a free throw. Her 23 points included a school record six three-pointers.

Kim said she never expected to have such a great game.

"I was down, because I didn't make All-Catholic League," she said. "I was bummed at myself for not coming through like I wanted to. My sister said, 'Don't mope. Just go out and play your best.' [Mercy's] Shannon Cohen went right down and hit a three and I thought I'm just going to go up there and hit one and I did. It was probably the best game I've ever played."

The twins also play softball for IND, but they plan to continue with basketball in college, probably at the Division III level. Ranked in the top 10 in their class, both carry grade-point averages around 3.8 and belong to the National Honor Society.

However, because Kelly plans to become a physical therapist and Kim wants to major in English, their basketball days together soon may be over. They aren't likely to attend the same college.

"It's going to be tough," said Kelly. "I've never played on a team without her. We do almost everything together. But this is something we should probably do, so we don't become dependent on each other."

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