We have passed the midseason mark for NTL girls basketball, and since I did Power Rankings last week, I wanted to look at something a little different and change gears.
I think a cool way to recognize players who have stood out this season would be midseason awards. Who has been the best offensive player? How about who’s been the best lockdown defender? Who would I pick for an eight girl roster?
All of these questions will be answered in this week in hoops, and we will look at the area girls and who has been the best of the best to start the season.
Offensive MVP: Cathryn Brought; Wellsboro Hornets
This was a tough one, JoAnne McNamara has been stellar on offense, but over the past two weeks has had a few tough games. McNamara is a tough one to not have here but Brought has just been that good.
Brought has been great this season, and has really given some juice to a young and inexperienced team. Her consistency is the main reason she sits as the Offensive MVP in my mind, as she scores 17 points a game and her deviation from that number is a lot less static than McNamara.
Her scoring has been great, but it’s her ability to facilitate on the floor and guide her offense in stagnant stretches that really stands out.
Defensive MVP: Alli
Macensky; Galeton Tigers
Macensky is just a freshman, but has been probably the best rim protector in the area. She is averaging almost five blocks a game (yeah that’s no typo) and on top of that has the ability to alter almost every shot at the rim.
She also is an elite rebounder, and has averaged just over eight rebounds a contest. Despite the strong presence on the glass and under the rim, she also leads her team in scoring so far this season.
My All-Star Lineup:
PG: JoAnne McNamara
McNamara is a great maestro and has the ability to draw defenses in and make the best pass. With her ability to handle the ball with ease, she can get into the paint at will, which is where she is most dangerous either finishing or by making a pass out to an open shooter.
SG: Cathryn Brought
Brought is a lot like McNamara in the sense she can get to the paint at will, but the height advantage she poses on most girls around the league makes her a matchup nightmare for most perimiter defenders. She shoots the ball well, and has a knack for making her way to free-throw line where she shoots an impressive 73%.
SF: Kiersten Mitstifer
Mitstifer has a rare combination of athleticism, length and tenacity that leads her to having one of the best all-around games on the list. Mitstifer isn’t a scoring machine, but on a given night can give you anywhere from eight to 18. Her value is in her defense, where she averages three steals a game and does a good job of pressuring the ball.
PF: Bailey Monks
One of the best down low presences in the league, Monks is averaging right around 10 points and seven rebounds per game. She is a strong defender underneath, and even though her block totals aren’t monstrous, she uses good positioning and feet to keep opponents from getting good looks underneath.
C: Alli Macensky
If you want a player who plays both ends of the court down low, look no further than Macensky. With block after block on one end, and averaging a respectable nine points on the other, she is the perfect compliment to the rest of the starters. She also is solid on the offensive glass, and uses that for a lot of second chance opportunities.
6. Eva Rice
Now despite her being sixth on the list, Rice is one of the best around the NTL. She has stumbled a bit over the last few weeks, but is probably the quickest guard on this list and offensively can explode on any given night. Rice averages right around 14 points per game, and defensively has great hands and is averaging right below four steals a game.
7. Makayla Vargeson
Another tough down low presence would be perfect off the bench with this team. Vargeson can rebound, score and block shots and averages just over ten a game she has been really solid this season, and helps to lead the Indians. Against Wellsboro Vargeson totaled 17 points against a tough Hornets unit and has been scoring in bunches all season long.
8. Jaime Palmer
Palmer has been excellent so far this season, and has been one of the best knock down shooters on the Lady Tigers roster. Palmer averages right over nine points a game to go along with seven rebounds and two steals per contest. Palmer is one of the better on-ball defenders around the league as well making her a dangerous addition to any team.
Nick Coyle is a sports reporter/enthusiast for the Wellsboro/Mansfield Gazette and Free Press-Courier. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.