By Brett Barnes

As Kaci Finfrock climbed the ladder, took the scissors, and cut that piece of net that would remind her forever of Ashland’s 2013 NCAA Division II national championship, many thoughts flooded her mind. “Every time we cut a net it symbolized one of our goals. We won league outright, hosted a regional and won that, and now we had won the national championship. I was definitely surreal.”

Kaci Finfrock is now a senior at Ashland University ready to graduate and “start her life,” but four short years ago, she was arguably the best Milton-Union girls’ basketball player to ever play in West Milton, Ohio. She was first team all-conference four times, and she still holds many records: M-U’s all-time leading scorer with 1,365 points, the all-time leader in assists and steals, and she was also
named All-Ohio Division III honorable mention her senior season. This success led her to Ashland, with a scholarship and an opportunity to play college basketball.

“It has been a long four years, but looking back it seemed awful fast,” Finfrock said in a recent interview. “I have grown so much as a person.”

In 2012 Ashland competed for a national championship, but lost in the championship game. This loss was the moment that Kaci felt like they would have an opportunity to win it all in 2013. “We set goals and Coach wouldn’t let us look past those goals, but I knew that with most of our team back we could go back and win.”

The 2013 season started with a scrimmage against Division I Bowling Green, and with six seniors including Finfrock leading the way, Ashland competed and “played with” the BG Falcons. “That gave us confidence, and when we went to scrimmage against Dayton, we went there to win.”

The Dayton Flyers women have become a DI power ranked in the top 20 consistently over the past few years. On November 3, Ashland did indeed go there to win and defeated UD 79-77, which set the tone for a season for the ages. 37-1, a national championship trophy (“It is big and heavy.”), and that symbolic piece of net. “Not many people play the final game of their career and win. That’s what I got
to do. I am forever a winner.”

Finfrock, a GLIAC Academic All-Excellence Team member, carries a 3.5 GPA and is currently doing her student teaching and scheduled to graduate on time. “I will be certified K-12 but I really enjoy teaching the little kids. I will go to wherever a job takes me.” Wherever Kaci Finfrock ends up in life, one thing is for sure, she will be “Forever a Winner.”

 

Photo Courtesy of the Ashland Times Gazette
Photo Courtesy of the Ashland Times Gazette

Kaci

###