Local pro coaches Rothesay Netherwood to Final 12

February 22, 2024
Matthew Daigle | Telegraph-Journal

In 2019, Kaylee Kilpatrick was a guest speaker at the New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association Final 12 banquet as a professional basketball player. This weekend, she’ll be on the bench coaching in the Final 12.

Kilpatrick is the head coach of Rothesay Netherwood School’s girls’ basketball team, and they’ll be playing in the AA provincial finals on Saturday at 6 p.m. against St. Stephen at TD Station in Saint John.

The Riverhawks made the finals in Kilpatrick’s first year as head coach. She said the Final 12 is the biggest day of high school basketball in New Brunswick, and the team is excited about the opportunity.

“It’s been super, super fun. I feel like I’ve learned so much about how to coach, and about the game and about how to manage young players,” said Kilpatrick. “The girls are really hard workers. They’re a young team, they’re really energetic, and therefore really close connections with each other, which has been really fun to watch.”

Kilpatrick competed at the NCAA Division 1 level at the University of New Hampshire before playing professionally in Europe and Australia.

For the past few year, the Saint John forward has played for her hometown Port City Fog in the new Maritime Women’s Basketball Association (MWBA). Last season, she was named the league's most valuable player.

While still playing, she got her start in coaching last season as the assistant coach for RNS when she acquired a teaching position at the school. She took over head coaching duties this season while David Shiels switched to be assistant coach while also being the school’s athletic director.

“She is a players’ coach. She is still playing at a high level in the MWBA and is the only player around the Saint John area to play D1 in the U.S., and play professionally in Europe,” said Shiels. “She has been where these girls want to go. She is our own version of Caitlin Clark.” Clark is the University of Iowa athlete who recently became the all-time leading scorer in NCAA women’s basketball with 3,569 career points.

At the Provincial sectionals the previous weekend, RNS upset the two-time defending champions, Woodstock High. In the past nine provincial championships, Woodstock High has won seven titles.

Afterward, RNS defeated Salisbury to punch their ticket to TD Station.

RNS features two NBIAA all-stars on its roster, including Natalia Colley and Cara Palk.

Kilpatrick said if they remain disciplined, stay together, and play tough defence, then they’ll be in good position to win.

“We are hardworking, and big dreamers, and young,” said Kilpatrick. “But I think our work ethic, and our skills back up our dreams. I’m excited to see what’s going to happen this weekend.”
40 College Hill Road
Rothesay, NB
E2E 5H1


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