Another awesome season by the girls basketball teams of our county is in the books. It's time to celebrate them with our annual All-County team and individual awards.
This year, three of our teams reached the state playoffs. Fayette County made it the farthest with a run to the Elite Eight, before they fell to the eventual state champs.
Starr's Mill continued their rise with their first ever state playoff win. The Lady Panthers went on the road and knocked off Grovetown in the first round.
Sandy Creek rounded out the tournament teams.
There were a host of strong individual performances, but one player stood out most of all. Starr's Mill's Katie Wilson is the 2014 County Player of the Year for the girls. Wilson, a senior, averaged 16 points and five assists a game while spearheading the electric Panther attack. Wilson also etched her place in Panther lore by becoming the first player, boy or girl, to break the 1,000 career point plateau in school history.
"Katie was such a wonderful leader this year. She always did what's best for the team. If it meant score she scored. If it meant distribute she did that," said her coach Shane Ratliff. "Katie meant and means so much to this program. Our success over the past three years can be directly linked to having her in the lineup. She is a great role model for the younger players and will be the guide for future Panthers to strive to be like."
Plenty of coaches deserve recognition for a job well done, but Fayette County's John Strickland is the County Coach of the Year for the girls. The Tigers came into the year without stars of the past like Keyondra Jenkins or Brianna Banks, but Strickland molded this bunch into a dynamic team unit. His Lady Tigers reached the Elite Eight before suffering a narrow loss to the eventual state champs.
The All-County First Team is an awesome bunch. Katie Wilson is joined on the squad by Cassidy Williams of McIntosh, Jada Coggins of Whitewater, and the Fayette County duo of Asia Harper and Kayla Smith.
Williams, a junior, led the county in scoring, averaging a robust 20 points per game for the Chiefs. Coggins, a junior, was a great two way force, picking up 14 points and 11 rebounds a game. Harper, a senior, filled up the stat sheet nightly, averaging 10 points, seven assists, and five rebounds. Smith, a junior, led the Tigers in scoring at 18 points a game, along with three assists and five rebounds.
The All-County Second Team is loaded with talent made up of Jasmine Jones from Sandy Creek, Morgan Towells from Our Lady of Mercy, Danielle Garcia from Starr's Mill, Kaelyn Dugger from Whitewater, and Alliyah Davis from Fayette County.
Jones averaged nine points a night for the Patriots. Towells, a sophomore, led the Bobcats in scoring, 12 points a game, and assists. Garcia, a senior, tallied 10 points and six rebounds a game while breaking the 700 career point barrier. Dugger, a senior, averaged 11 points and 13 boards a game. Davis, a senior, picked up eight points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks a night.
There is still plenty of talent left that deserves recognition.
The honorable mentions for McIntosh are Christine Cerezola, Kristin Campbell, Maddie O'Rourke, and DeLayne Rotolo.
Starr's Mill's honorable mentions are Katie Buck, Jenna Ricker, Lexie Pappas, and Alli Jones.
The honorable mentions for Whitewater are Danielle Ross and Rena Jenkins.
Sandy Creek's honorable mentions are Sydney Jarmon, Martina Flasikova, Brianna Baitey, and Tyler Green.
The honorable mentions for Fayette County are Nyla Battle and Whitney Williams.
Our Lady of Mercy's honorable mentions are Leah Banks and Deja Barthell.