The St. Bede Lady Bruins reached the sectional finals once again, firmly maintaining its hold as the premier program in Bureau County. As a results, the 2012-13 All-BCR Girls basketball team is another gang of green.
Shiela Browning, LaMoille/Ohio (5-9, SR/G): The Lady Lions go-to girl, averaged 11.5 points per game, saving some of her best games against some big competition with 18 points vs. Annawan and Newark. She also had an area-best 68 steals and led her team with 55 assists and 28 three-point shots. She is the top leading scorer returning in the Class of 2014 with 637 career points.
“She’s so strong and athletic. I think the best is yet to come,” L/O coach Dick Gross said.
Mo Dean, St. Bede (6-1, SR/C): The Lady Bruins offense ran through the 6-1 Dean and for good reason — when she got her hands on the ball in the post, it typically found its way through the net. The Lady Bruins tower of power averaged 14.4 ppg on 63.75 field goal percentage. The IBCA Third Team All-Stater also averaged 7.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.
“She was dominant for us on both ends of the floor and, most importantly, kept herself out of foul trouble to stay in all games! We were a different team without her on the floor and she made herself a name around the state by playing so well,” coach Tom McGunnigal said, noting Dean’s IBCA and Associated Press All-State recognition.
Becca Herrmann, Hall (5-9, JR/F): The Lady Devils lost a lot of talent in the post last year with the graduation of twin towers Jaclyn Kane, the 2013 BCR co-Player of the Year, and Kelle Nett. The junior Herrmann stepped right in and filled a big void, leading the Lady Devils in scoring (10.3 ppg), rebounding (6.3 rpg) and blocked shots (1.3 big).
“Becca led us in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots, so that says a lot,” Hall coach Mike Struna said.
Lydia Stariha, St. Bede (5-6, SR/G): The senior point guard had two main jobs for the Lady Bruins — run their offense and draw their toughest defensive assignment. Along the way, the IBCA Special Mention All-State selection also led the Lady Bruins in assists and ranks second in scoring (7.8), rebounding (3.6) and steals (1.7).
“Lydia was our most complete all-around player. Had all of the tools you need to be a solid player … vocal leader, could score, could handle the ball, could assist, and most importantly, could guard,” McGunnigal said. “She had a great four years and was one of the main reasons of our postseason run to the sectional finals.”
Makenzey Wilson, Princeton (5-7, SR/G-F): The first player McGunnigal said he game-planned for when the Lady Bruins met the Tigresses was Wilson. She gave the Tigresses a steadying influence on the floor, leading the team in scoring (6.9 ppg) and pulling down 6.9 rebounds a game. She was also looked upon for her defense and this year much more ball handling.
“We took Makenzey out of her comfort zone in the post where she excels so well and asked her to do much of the ball handling for us this year. She welcomed the challenge and was a great team player and leader,” PHS coach Kevin Hieronymus said.
Nicole Bornsheuer, BV (6-0, JR/C): In her second season of varsity ball, Storm coach Tiffany Gonigam said the junior center continued to make tremendous gains this year. The 6-footer was a force in the post, averaging 7.3 points and 6.9 rebounds a game.
“Nicole was very consistent for us this year and our girls looked to her to do a lot of things for us. She enjoys the game and is a competitor,” BV coach Tiffany Gonigam said.
Whitley Funfsinn, St. Bede (5-9, SR/F): The senior guard was most noticeable perhaps in her absence, because when she returned from an early-season injury, McGunnigal said. “We took off as a team, especially from a defensive standpoint.” She displayed a well-rounded game, averaging 6.6 points, 3.4 rebounds,1.6 assists and 2.4 steals per game, and was a three-point threat.
“She helped so much because of her instincts and natural abilities in getting to the ball! Her offense was an added bonus when that came around once she recovered fully from her injury and regained her conditioning,” McGunnigal said.
Zoe Mead, Princeton (5-11, JR/C): The athletic post gave the Tigresses a consistent threat in scoring (6.5) and rebounding (6.83). Had season highs in scoring with 20 points vs. Hall and 16 vs. Kewanee along with nights of 17 and 14 rebounds.
“Zoe showed us several glimpses of her brilliance and I look forward to seeing her develop her skills more next year for us,” Hieronymus said.
Emmalee Sears, Princeton (5-9, SR/F): The senior power forward gave the Tigresses a strong presence inside, leading the team with 221 rebounds (7.9 rpg), including a high of 17 boards and a string of four straight games with 13. She was also the team’s second-leading scorer (6.7 ppg) with a game-winning shot.
“Emmalee came to play every night. She never took a night off,” Hieronymus said. “You’d like to have five players like Emmalee in your lineup.”
Laura Sickley, St. Bede (5-7, JR/G): The junior guard made a major impact in her first year of varsity ball. She had a break-out game with 26 points vs. Mendota in the Lady Bruins Classic finals, 10 in the fourth quarter. She led the Lady Bruins in three-point baskets and percentage was well-rounded overall - 7.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.2 spg.
“She is such a heady and gritty player. She can go all day long she is in such great shape,” McGunnigal said. “I think ‘Los’ learned a lot about leadership and what she can do for us next year as a senior that she will be one of the top players around.”
Heaven Bennett, BV (5-11, SO/C): The 5-11 sophomore stood tall in her first season on the Storm varsity, averaging 8.0 rebounds and 4.9 points a game.
Ellen Herrmann, Hall (5-8, So/G-F): Came along strong during her sophomore season to give the Lady Devils a good sister-act with Becca, averaging 6.7 points and 4.9 rebounds a game.
Kaylee Golden, Hall (5-2, JR/G): Took over as point guard when teammate Brenna Faletti went down with a season-ending injury and wound up as the team’s second leading scorer (5.6 ppg).
Lexi Marselle, Princeton (5-6, SR/G): Was a threat on a three-pointers and a weapon defensively, swiping the ball away 1.9 times per game.
McCaela May, Princeton (5-8, SR/G): Made her mark behind the three-point arc for the Tigresses, leading to three double-digit scoring games.
BV: Krista Naaktgeboren.
DePue: Alicia Marquez.
Hall: Jacquie Wallaert.
PHS: Sydney Hall.
L/O: Elizabeth Geuther, Kaitlyn Hughes.
St. Bede: Raley Mauck, Lexi Miranda.