Monday, April 6, 2009

The Record's 2008-09 girls basketball All-Area team

Player of the Year: Carolyn Houston
School: Hoosic Valley
Class: Senior
Position: Forward
Height: 5-11
Notable: The Indians are renowned for their selfless, defense-first style of play and Carolyn Houston undeniably captured that as the heart and soul of a team that earned a fourth consecutive Section II title and their second straight berth in a New York State championship game. She averaged 10.8 points per game – Hoosic Valley does not track rebounds and assists officially, proof of head coach Walter Dorman’s singular focus in his team’s defense – and her output varied from zero points to a season-high 20, a feat she accomplished twice. Her halfcourt buzzer-beater prior to halftime in the New York State title game against Nazareth gave the Indians a one-point lead heading into the third quarter and was certainly one of the most memorable shots of the season. A first team All-State player in Class C, Houston will attend Boston-area Curry College, play basketball for the Division III Colonels and plans to study nursing.
Quotable: "When you're a coach that doesn't keep stats, sometimes you say, oh boy, ‘she played a great game’," Dorman said. "And then you realize she didn't score any points. She did all the intangibles, breaking a team's press, being able to play in the post or going out as a swing guard.
"She has the personality to be a leader," he continued. "She knows how to direct people without being overbearing and not everybody has the personality for that. Because of the way she practices and how hard she worked, she earned her teammates' respect. She didn't take a day off."

Coach of the Year: Gordie Johnson
School: Watervliet
Notable: He relied on a single returning starter, counted on a key reserve from last season – the only senior on the team - and put his faith in a pair of eighth graders, but Johnson, somehow, found a way to lead the Lady Cannoneers to their third Section II title in as many years.
Junior guard Tierney McGlynn returned in the backcourt and Jen Gates, Watervliet’s lone senior, emerged as one of the Colonial Council’s most reliable scorers. Not only did that duo lead the way on the court, but they helped Johnson mold a pair of junior high school players in Ailaya Demand and LaShana Tolliver into consistent varsity-level performers. The Cannoneers were fourth-place finishers in the Colonial Council’s regular season but snagged the Section II Class B No. 1 seed and rode it to the regional championship game.
Give Johnson the credit for not only seeing the talent in his eighth grade players but for throwing them on the floor against college-bound seniors night after night. Next season, however, Watervliet will be expected to live up to the high expectations that Johnson has set by winning three consecutive Section II championships.

Sheila Dixon
School: Schenectady
Height: 5-7
Class: Senior
Position: Point guard
Notable: The Brown University-bound standout averaged 14.2 points per game and led the Patriots to a Big 10 regular season title, the first in school history. A first team Big 10 All-Star, Dixon led Schenectady to 19 wins through 23 games before bowing to eventual Section II champion Bethlehem in the Class AA semifinals. The victories also set a school record and Dixon was named to the New York State Class AA fourth team. She plans on studying pre-med or political science while playing for the Bears in Ivy League action next season.

Megan Olsen
School: Bethlehem
Height: 5-10
Class: Senior
Position: Point guard
Notable: Named the 2008-09 Suburban Council Player of the Year, Olsen eclipsed the 1,000 point mark during the Eagles’ games in the New York State Class AA Final Four. She scored 10 points in a victory over Kingston and added 21 more against Copiague in a loss in the Class AA title game and finished her career with 1,023 points. She averaged 14.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.6 steals per game and guid¬ed Bethlehem to victory in the Section II Class AA championship game, a rematch of the 2008 final against Shenendehowa. A third team New York State Class AA All-Star, Olsen will play for St. Michaels College, a Division II member of the Northeast-10 Conference.

Katie Duma
School: Averill Park
Height: 5-10
Class: Junior
Position: Guard/Forward
Notable: A versatile and dynamic scorer, Duma and the Lady Warriors endured an up-and-down regular season but made a strong run in the Section II Class A playoffs. She eclipsed the 1,000 point mark this season and also became the school’s all-time scoring leader. Duma carries 1,090 career points into her senior season and she also scored in double figures in all but one of the Warriors’ games. She averaged nearly 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals per game. Division I, II and III colleges are all recruiting Duma. A first team All-State player in Class A for the second consecutive season, Duma will be among the most talented and experienced players returning next season on any team in Section II.

Carly LaBombard
School: Catholic Central
Height: 5-9
Class: Senior
Position: Guard/Forward
Notable: No player in the area put in more self-imposed hard work for a senior season than did LaBombard, who emerged as a fantastic shooter and the leading scorer for the Lady Crusaders this season. Catholic Central dropped the first three games of the year, but the Crusaders went 15-3 down the stretch before falling to eventual state finalist Bethlehem in the Section II Class AA quarterfinals. LaBombard averaged 13.4 points per game and finished in double figures 16 times. A first team Big 10 All-Star, she went the extra mile solely for her varsity team and it was a fitting ending for the family as her mother, Chris LaBombard, decided to retire at year’s end after 21 seasons of coaching at Catholic Central.

Alex McCullough
School: Bethlehem
Height: 6-1
Class: Senior
Position: Center
Notable: The perfect complement to teammate Megan Olsen’s presence on the perimeter, McCullough averaged 12.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game and was, perhaps along with Mohonasen’s Nicole Adach, one of the top post players in the Suburban Council. She added two blocks per game for the Eagles, who advanced to the New York State Class AA championship game and finished as the No. 4 ranked team in the state. A first team All-Suburban Council selection, she also earned a spot on the New York State Class AA fifth team. McCullough finished her varsity career with 984 points scored and will play for SUNY-New Paltz next season.

Name School Class Pos. PPG RPG APG
Player of the Year
Carolyn Houston Hoosic Valley Senior F 10.8 NA NA
Did not put up the flashiest numbers, but simply willed the Indians to another shot at a state title

First team
Megan Olsen Bethlehem Senior PG 14.7 4.4 3.0
The Suburban Council Player of the Year, Olsen led the Eagles to the New York State Class AA title game
Sheila Dixon Schenectady Senior PG 13.7 5.6 4.2
The Brown-bound shooter was a first team Big 10 All-Star and a fourth team All-State pick
Katie Duma Averill Park Junior G/F 16.9 7.0 4.0
Duma took Averill Park to its third Section II Class A title game in four years
Carly LaBombard Catholic Central Senior F 13.4 5.0 0.4
Scored a season-high 24 points in Crusaders’ signature victory over Our Lady of Lourdes in Jan.
Alex McCullough Bethlehem Senior C 12.3 6.6 NA
McCullough was a major reason why Bethlehem won its first Section II title since 2003

Second team
Mariah Stewart Bishop Maginn Senior G 18.6 5.5 1.5
Scored 1,114 career points and will attend Division I Virginia Commonwealth University
Kierra Moore Holy Names Senior G/F 11.5 7.0 4.5
After missing last season with an injury, guided Holy Names on an undefeated run through the Colonial Council
Nicole Adach Mohonasen Senior F 13.3 12.3 3.1
Will play for St. Michaels College next season alongside plenty of Section II alums, scored 1,106 points
Olivia DeMarco Catholic Central Senior F 9.9 6.1 0.7
Returned from injury to spark a second-half resurgence for the Lady Crusaders; D-II U. of New Haven-bound
Katie Roth Maple Hill Sophomore C 13.2 8.4 1.1
The young Patroon Conference MVP scored in double figures in 19 of 24 games

Third team
Meeghan Arno Maple Hill Sophomore PG 5.9 2.5 2.9
A tough-as-nails point guard, Arno did all of the little things for the Section II Class C champs
Ariana Youngs Lansingburgh Junior G 13.0 NA 4.0
The Colonial Council MVP steered the Lady Knights through a late season resurgence
Staci McElroy Saratoga Springs Senior F 17.0 7.9 NA
One of the Suburban Council’s scoring leaders; will attend D-III Buffalo State
Allie Setter Shenendehowa Sophomore F 10.6 11.0 NA
Setter paced Shen’s balanced scoring attack, which took them to the Section II title game
Samantha Anderson Hoosic Valley Senior C 9.9 NA NA
Often the recipient of crisp passes from Carolyn Houston, also dominated the glass in Wasaren play

Honorable mention
Shenekwa Stewart (Albany), Brittany O’Shea (Averill Park), Lindsey DePaolis (Berlin), Alexis Osborne (Bishop Maginn), Georgina Farrow (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake), Meg Keeler (Cohoes), Theresa Coles (Colonie), Gabi Regan (Columbia), Taylor Race (Germantown), Dani DeGregory (Greenwich), Casey Spicer (Holy Names), Fallon Witte (Holy Names), Carly Pine (Hoosick Falls), Jessica Dailey (Maple Hill), Alyssa Filkins (Maple Hill), Shannon McBride (Mechanicville), Michelle Aviza (Mohonasen), Alivia Richter (Ravena), Jessica Baxter (Rensselaer), Antonia Williams (Schenectady), Bridgette Plummer (Schuylerville), Lauren Woods (Shaker), Marissa Ray (Shenendehowa), Abbey Hanehan (Stillwater), Casey Becerra (Voorheesville), Jackie Sorensen (Waterford-Halfmoon), Tierney McGlynn (Watervliet).

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Anonymous latest sports news said...

The best games I have ever seen!

August 20, 2010 at 11:02 PM 

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