We have a lot of fun when we sit down and hash out things like the girls basketball all-area teams that you’ll find on B10 and B11 in this edition.
The process starts almost as soon as we start getting the preview section ready for the season.
As the season wears on, players move up and down the list in each of our eyes, and then we spend a week or two once the whistle stops blowing debating who belongs where.
At the end of the day, it’s something we do to add more fun for the kids playing the games. I’ve had more than one player tell me they’ve set the goal to be our player of the year.
That puts the pressure on us to try and pick the player that most of our readers would agree with. Today, for instance, we named Sam Lambrigtsen.
She’s certainly deserving, but I’d be lying if I said the choice didn’t come with some debate.
We looked pretty darn hard at Dixon’s Brooke Bailey. In my book, there wasn’t a more clutch performance than the 29 points she scored against a good Mendota team in the 3A Sterling Regional quarterfinal.
Everyone on the court knew she was the one that was going to do the scoring for the Duchesses, but she still managed to get open against a tall group of Mendota Trojans. Bailey did that all season long, and that’s why she was voted NIB-12 West MVP.
The debate sort of gets left out of the all-area section. This is the finished product. There are many other things about this past season worth noting.
First, I don’t think there’d be much argument that Prophetstown would be our team of the year.
The Prophets, led by seniors Cassie Reiley and Riley Walters, shared the Three Rivers title, competed against (and beat) bigger 2A schools, and advanced to the 1A sectional, where they met up with eventual state champion Aquin.
Here’s a couple more unofficial awards.
Surprise of the year award
The Sterling Golden Warriors. While it was no surprise that the Warriors were good – the program just always seems to be solid – I certainly never projected them going to a sectional final in 3A.
Especially when you look at the fact that they had to beat a Rock Falls team they lost to in the first week of the season, then knock off a Rochelle team in the regional they had already lost to twice.
This is a bit tricky. I think you’d almost have to split this award between Erie and AFC. Both have a young core of players that got better throughout the season.
While I hate to put on undo pressure, I think we’ll be seeing some good things from both the Cardinals and Raiders in 2013-14.
Another potential bright spot could be the Morrison Fillies. The final record won’t wow anyone, but they had a lot of sophomores and freshmen play a full season on varsity.
They could be twins award
While both would have liked to have been 6-foot, seniors Devyn Absher and Bree Tourtillott formed a dynamic pair of post players at 5-foot-7 for Oregon.
The two spent time bodying up against taller competitors, and yet both pulled down their share of rebounds. Both also found ways of getting open for short-range jumpers that aways seemed to fall.
This is hard, because I didn’t personally see all the teams this season. Of the teams I saw, it seemed like Rock Falls’ Aubree Johnson and Sterling’s Gabby Sandoval were the ones always diving for loose balls.
Neither girl is blessed with some of the physical attributes of their teammates, but they more than make up for it with hustle.
These are a just a few of the observations I made this season. It was a fun ride, and I can’t wait for 2013-14 to roll around.