Kaukauna's Alana Zarneke, left, stands with her teammates during the playing of the National Anthem before the Ghosts' home game against Oshkosh North. Photo by Kevin Doszak. See more at kdoszakphotos.zenfoliosite.com

KAUKAUNA — Despite being down a key player in their 12-1 season so far, the Kaukauna Ghosts’ girls basketball remains more determined than ever heading into a key Fox Valley Association showdown Tuesday against Neenah.

The Ghosts’ star Alana Zarneke is out for the season with a knee injury sustained in Kaukauna’s Dec. 29 win against Germantown that propelled the team to the No. 1 spot in the state in the  the Wissports.net coaches poll.

But rest assured the Ghosts will still have five at a time on the floor, and they showed they’re up to the task with a bounce back win last Saturday over Sheboygan North after dropping their first contest of the season two days earlier against Fond du Lac.

Zarneke, a St. Cloud State recruit, was averaging 15 points per game before her injury where she tore her ACL and partially tore her meniscus and medial collateral ligament in her right knee, according to Fox 11 TV.

The rehabilitation could last up to 11 months.

Kaukauna, Hortonville and Neenah remain in a tussle for the top spot in the Fox Valley Association, each currently with a 12-1 record.

Hortonville’s only loss this season was to Kaukauna on Dec. 16, and Neenah’s only loss was a 60-59 loss to Hortonville.

A Kaukauna win at home Tuesday would put the Ghosts firmly atop the conference standings before they travel to both Hortonville and Neenah later in the season.

“I’m going to do everything I can to help my team gets to my goal, at least, to be at the Resch Center,” Zarneke told Doug Ritchay of Fox 11. “Hopefully, bring home the gold ball, but they also have to believe in themselves, so I will help them believe they can do it.”

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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.