VIBORG, S.D. (KELO) — Our first KELOLAND Media Group Girls Basketball Player of the Year nominee is Viborg-Hurley senior, Coral Mason, who helped fuel the Cougars to their second straight class ‘B’ championship.

Coral Mason knew at a young age she was going to grow up on the basketball court.

“I liked the way you can compete in basketball well with people. It was so easy to get into the gym and play pickup with my brothers and their friends. It’s what interested me first the most,” Coral said.

Chase Mason is one of Coral’s brothers who encouraged her at a young age and inspired her to reach her true potential.

“Seeing him work hard, it just made me want to work harder. Seeing what he could do and know that if he works that hard and he’s succeeding, that if I work hard, it could happen to me too,” Coral said.

But the family connection doesn’t stop there. Coral has been coached by her mom, Molly, since the second grade.

“You know your coach very well and you trust your coach, which not very many people have a bond like that,” Coral said.

Those family ties helped Coral emerge as one of the top players this season. The senior posted 18 points and nine rebounds per game, despite facing several tough defenses.

“For her to recognize what the defense was doing and yet still create opportunities for her teammates and trust her teammates, was a huge growth that she had this year,” Viborg-Hurley head coach Molly Mason said.

That performance helped lead the Cougars to their second consecutive state title, while also earning Coral a spot as a Player of the Year finalist.

“There’s a lot of good, a lot of good girls basketball players out there and for her to be nominated for this is special,” Molly said.

“My hard work didn’t go unnoticed and just going to the gym pushing myself everyday, that it’s going to do something for me,” Coral said.

Viborg-Hurley finished the season with a 23-3 record, while claiming the class ‘B’ state championship.

We’ll continue to announce finalists for Player of the Year, leading up to our All-Star Special which will air on Saturday, April 15 at 9:30 a.m. CT.