Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton seniors Kealey Nelson (left) and Sophia Peppers smile through the tears as they accept the Spartans’ state semi-finalist trophy. Together, they combined to score 2,725 points during their careers and played in four state tournaments.

Spartans bid farewell to dynamic senior duo

 DES MOINES (March 2) -- The final numbers are nothing short of fantastic for Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton seniors Sophia Peppers and Kealey Nelson. Peppers and Nelson played their final high school game on Friday as the Spartans lost to Springville in the 1A state tournament semifinals. During their prep careers, they combined for more than 2,700 points and helped lead Exira-EHK to a 96-6 record (72-1 inside the Rolling Valley Conference), four state tournament appearances and three trips to the 1A semifinals.
 Peppers, who has verbally committed to play basketball at Morningside College, started for four years and totaled 1,637 points, 735 rebounds, 249 assists, 369 steals and 83 blocked shots. Nelson, a three-year starter, finished with 1,088 points, 443 rebounds, 113 assists and 239 steals.
 “Those two - I just can’t say enough about them,” said E-EHK coach Tom Petersen. “I’m proud of what they’ve done for our program and I hope that the others feed off it.”
 According to sophomores Ellie Schultes and Kamryn Waymire, it’s going to be tough to say goodbye to Sophia and Kealey’s guidance and leadership, but they will take what they’ve learned and try to share it next season.
 “They were amazing players and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to play with them,” Schultes said. “What they taught us, I hope that we can bring that back for (next year’s) freshmen and sophomores because it was amazing... We’ve had some great leaders in the past and we’re just going to have to step up and be like them, hopefully."

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