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Barrington's Angie Kirchoff (33) guards Evanston's Sierra Clayborn (24) at the Dundee-Crown Charger Classic Tournament. | Brian O'Mahone
Barrington’s Angie Kirchoff does not shy away from her family legacy.
The 5-10 junior guard is the last in a line of basketball-playing sisters who have starred for the Fillies in recent years and while her career is still developing, all indications are that she intends to leave a lasting impact on the program.
Kirchoff’s two older sisters, Anna and Abby, were three-year starting guards for Barrington who have gone on to have successful college careers. Anna is a senior at Judson University and Abby is a sophomore at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Both currently lead their respective teams in scoring.
With siblings like that, Angie Kirchoff knows fans assume she will be just as good, but she doesn’t mind. She even wears the same uniform number, 33, that Abby did.
“It’s fun,” Angie Kirchoff. “People are like, ‘Oh, she’s a Kirchoff,’ so there are a lot of expectations that come with it, but [the legacy] helps. I learn a lot from them.”
It shows. Angie, who like her sisters became a starter as a sophomore, brings remarkably similar skills to the court. She is a versatile player who is equally adept at shooting three-pointers and driving to the basket, just as Anna and Abby do.
“She’s got some nice all-around skills,” Barrington coach Babbi Barreiro said. “I think she’s a fighter. She’s a very physical player and she plays hard all the time.
“She knows the game and the whole Kirchoff legacy; they all kind of play that similar style of gutsy basketball and hard-core basketball.”
That extends to the family driveway, where Angie and Abby often challenge each other in fierce one-on-one battles. Angie has beaten Abby, who is fifth on Barrington’s career scoring list with 1,272 points, once in those contests and with their competitive nature, you know she must have earned it.
“We have a basketball court outside our house and me and Abby play one-on-one all the time, so she helps me on offense and guarding her on defense, too,” Angie said. “Also, she comes to my games and she watches me and gives me pointers and she helps me realize what I can’t see when I’m playing.”
One thing Barreiro would like to see is Angie become even more aggressive and trust her instincts.
“If I could change one thing about Angie Kirchoff, I’d just like to see her play with more confidence,” Barreiro said. “Sometimes I think she plays a little inhibited, but she’s a great kid to work with. She works hard, she loves the game and she’s not afraid to spend extra time working on her game.”
Kirchoff got off to a good start this season, scoring 12 points in Barrington’s first game, 19 in the second and 14 in the fourth. Her scoring has dipped since then but she has been a stabilizing force on a young team that has posted a 10-6 record despite starting two freshman post players and having just three seniors on the roster.
Kirchoff tallied nine points on 4-for-13 shooting on Thursday as Barrington nearly upset unbeaten Evanston in the quarterfinals of the Dundee-Crown Charger Classic before falling 50-46.
“My role on the team is to keep everyone together and calmed down and also handle the ball and control the floor and also [shoot] when [Barreiro] needs me,” Kirchoff said after the game.” I wasn’t on too well today, but she knows I’m a three-point shooter, she knows I can drive to the basket and I make my free throws.”
Kirchoff believes the Fillies are capable of consistently playing the way they did in the second half against Evanston, when they cut a 13-point deficit to two.
“We came out in the second half really strong and really played together,” Kirchoff said. “It just shows that those little sparks, if we could just play our entire game like the way we played right out of the halftime, we’d be so much better. I think we are getting used to people we haven’t played with.”
Getting used to playing without a Kirchoff in the lineup will take Barreiro some getting used to, but luckily she won’t have to deal with that for another two years.
“We’ve always felt lucky to have Kirchoffs come into our program,” Barreiro said. “[They are a] great family to work with.”